Nonstationary stochastic response of structural systems equipped with nonlinear viscous dampers under seismic excitation

Enrico Tubaldi, Ioannis A. Kougioumtzoglou

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Nonlinear viscous dampers are supplemental devices widely used for enhancing the performance of structural systems exposed to seismic hazard. A rigorous evaluation of the effect of these damping devices on the seismic performance of a structural system should be based on a probabilistic approach and take into account the evolutionary characteristics of the earthquake input and of the corresponding system response. In this paper, an approximate analytical technique is proposed for studying the nonstationary stochastic response characteristics of hysteretic single degree of freedom systems equipped with viscous dampers subjected to a fully nonstationary random process representing the seismic input. In this regard, a stochastic averaging/linearization technique is utilized to cast the original nonlinear stochastic differential equation of motion into a simple first-order nonlinear ordinary differential equation for the nonstationary system response variance. In comparison with standard linearization schemes, the herein proposed technique has the significant advantage that it allows to handle realistic seismic excitations with time-varying frequency content. Further, it allows deriving a formula for determining the nonlinear system response evolutionary power spectrum. By this way, 'moving resonance' effects, related to both the evolutionary seismic excitation and the nonlinear system behavior, can be observed and quantified. Several applications involving various system and input properties are included. Furthermore, various response parameters of interest for the seismic performance assessment are considered as well. Comparisons with pertinent Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate the reliability of the proposed technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-138
Number of pages18
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • evolutionary power spectrum
  • moving resonance
  • nonlinear systems
  • seismic performance
  • stochastic averaging
  • viscous dampers

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