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.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/simon_laflamme/44/