Semi-active tuned liquid column damper for civil engineering structures


Contact Person : O. Altay, B. Merkian

Civil engineering structures must resist natural and anthropogenic influences during their entire service life. In the most unfavourable case, the loading can exceed the structural performance, which can even lead to a collapse of the structure. In Germany, especially wind loads are decisive for the safety of high-rise structures, such as high-rise buildings, chimneys and wind energy turbines. For instance, due to dynamic loading the operation time for wind energy turbines are usually limited for only 20 years, which, from economic point of view, is not sufficient. Another challenge for the society and economy are road bridges. Solely, within Germany, the highway network consists 38,000 road bridges. One spectacular example is the highway bridge A1 - Rheinbrücke in Leverkusen, which has been closed since 2012 for lorries because of the poor condition of the structure.

To improve the dynamic resistance of civil engineering structures, RWTH Aachen University developed the Semi-active Tuned Liquid Column Damper (S-TLCD). The damper system, similar to the shock absorbers used in the automotive industry, can dissipate the vibration energy. The high-rise building in Taipei, as well as the TV-Tower of Berlin, are both equipped with a pendulum damper systems. Due to altering structural parameters and changing load situations, these passive damping measures show a loss of effectiveness during the service lifetime of the building. S-TLCD has the ability to adapt to these changes by adjusting its parameters automatically and therefore, can reach a significantly higher stability and efficiency compared to other so far developed measures.

S-TLCD is patented by RWTH Aachen University and a downscale model was successfully tested under laboratory conditions. The goal of this project is to validate the functionality of a real-size S-TLCD under real-world conditions using a reference structure, which belongs to the testing facilities of the RWTH Aachen University.