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High capacity variable friction damper based on band brake technology
Engineering Structures
  • Austin R.J. Downey, Iowa State University
  • Liang Cao, Iowa State University
  • Simon Laflamme, Iowa State University
  • Douglas Taylor, Taylor Devices
  • James Ricles, Lehigh University,
Document Type
Publication Version
Accepted Manuscript
Publication Date

Implementation of high performance controllable damping devices can ameliorate cost-effectiveness of structural systems for mitigation of natural hazards. However, the applications of these damping systems are limited due to a lack of (1) mechanical robustness; (2) electrical reliability; and (3) large resisting force capability. To broaden the implementation of modern damping systems, a novel semi-active damping device is proposed. The device, termed Banded Rotary Friction Device (BRFD), has enhanced applicability compared to other proposed damping systems due to its cost-effectiveness, high damping performance, mechanical robustness, and technological simplicity. Its mechanical principle is based on a band brake, which results in a high amplification of the applied force while enabling a variable control force. The theoretical model of the BRFD is presented and experimentally verified by subjecting a prototype to various harmonic loads. Results show that the prototype BRFD is capable of a maximum force of 45 kN (10 kips) using only a 267 N (60 lb) actuation force, therefore providing a mechanical advantage of 169. A 3-stage dynamic model previously developed by the authors can successfully be used to model the dynamic behavior of the BRFD.


This is a manuscript of an article Engineering Structures, 2016, 113; 287-298. Doi: 10.1016/j.engstruct.2016.01.035. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner
Elsevier Ltd
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Citation Information
Austin R.J. Downey, Liang Cao, Simon Laflamme, Douglas Taylor, et al.. "High capacity variable friction damper based on band brake technology" Engineering Structures Vol. 113 (2016) p. 287 - 298
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