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Published April 16, 2018 | Updated
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Performance of Viscous Damping in Inelastic Seismic Analysis of Moment-Frame Buildings


This report investigates the performance of several viscous damping formulations in the inelastic seismic response of moment-frame buildings. The evaluation employs a detailed model of a 20-story steel building. Damping schemes included in the study are Rayleigh, condensed Rayleigh, Wilson-Penzien, two versions of tangent Rayleigh and one implementation of capped damping. Caughey damping is found not to be computationally viable. Differences among the damping schemes, as quantified by amounts of plastic hinge rotations and story drifts, become noticeable once these quantities reach the 3% level. In order of least to greatest hinge rotations and drifts that occur under lateral response to horizontal ground motion, the damping schemes rank as Rayleigh (most damping action), condensed Rayleigh, Wilson-Penzien, the standard form of tangent Rayleigh and capped damping, which are about the same, and the elastic velocity version of tangent Rayleigh (least damping action). Performance of Rayleigh damping under vertical ground motion is discussed, including the effect of soil-structure interaction. The propensity of Rayleigh damping to generate excessive damping forces and moments during inelastic seismic analysis is explained, and a parameter is introduced that can predict the potential magnitude of the effect. A review of some literature on the role of viscous damping on the inelastic seismic response of moment frames is also presented.

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