What are the benefits of having fluid viscous dampers?
Fluid viscous dampers provide benefits for both new buildings and refurbishment projects. Potential benefits for projects include a reduced scope of work and a reduced on site construction timeframe. In the event of a major earthquake, fluid viscous dampers offer a much faster reoccupation of the building compared to traditional bracing methods.
Some specific benefits of fluid viscous dampers are:
- Fluid viscous damping reduces the response of a structure by absorbing and dissipating energy in a controlled and highly efficient manner, usually with minimal damage. The energy is converted to heat inside the fluid viscous dampers. By reducing the drift of the structure, the fluid viscous dampers improve structural resilience.
- The out of phase nature of fluid viscous damping means that is a very effective means of controlling drift and acceleration, without adding significant forces to the primary lateral-force resisting system. This carries through to limiting foundation forces and can provide a more efficient new or retrofitted structure.
- Viscous dampers can be tuned by design to provide significant performance improvements through supplemental damping to a structure. This can be done without increasing the size of the surrounding structure, which standard bracing elements (i.e. BRBs) would typically require.
- Recent case studies have demonstrated that significant total build cost savings can be achieved from the use of fluid viscous dampers compared to traditional bracing methods. The cost of the fluid viscous dampers is usually more than offset by reduced foundation costs and the savings from reduced reinforcing of the primary structure.
- The reduction of acceleration and displacement also minimises damage to the building’s fit out and contents, reducing repair costs and allowing faster reoccupation after an earthquake.