Using Tuned Mass Dampers to Mitigate Floor Vibrations

The effects of vibration in a floor system, while typically not dangerous from a life safety perspective, can present a serviceability issue. To reduce the effects of vibration, engineers may consider increasing the mass of the structure or otherwise stiffening the floor.

When increasing the mass or stiffness is not feasible, there are other options that can help solve the problem of floor vibrations. One such option is using Tuned Mass Dampers (TMDs), which are tuned to the dominant resonant frequency of the structure. Contrary to other damping mechanisms that need to be attached to the vibrating structure at one side and anchored at the other side, TMDs are attached to the structure at one side only, with no need to anchoring the other.

In this 4:40 video clip from the August 2014 SE University session, Using Tuned Mass Dampers to Control Floor Vibrations, Dr. Reza Kashani, PE from DEICON, Inc. explains how tuned damping can be used to reduce the vibration of a structure, and gives an introductory explanation on how TMDs work.

 

 

Additional items discussed in this SE University session included an introduction to floor vibration, and commonly used mitigation practices. Dr. Kashani also reviewed the elements that make up a Tuned Mass Damper, and used examples to show how TMDs reduced perceptible vibration on a balcony, as well as the floor system of a classroom.

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