Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Civil Engineering

First Adviser

Ricles, James M.

Other advisers/committee members

Pakzad, Shamim N.; Wilson, John L.; Sweeney, Shannon; Perez, Felipe J.


Passive damping systems can improve the seismic performance of buildings by reducing drift and inelastic deformation demands on the primary lateral load resisting system, in addition to reducing the velocity and acceleration demands on non-structural components. Recent research has shown that adding passive damper systems to steel moment resisting frames (MRFs) enables significant reductions in the steel weight of the MRFs, while enhancing the seismic performance of the structure.This study focuses on development of an innovative compressed elastomeric structural damper and evaluation of its hysteretic behavior for applicability towards reducing seismic hazards to steel MRFs. A large scale pre-compressed elastomeric damper was constructed by pre-compressing a high damping elastomeric material into steel tubes. The damper was characterized at various deformation amplitudes, frequencies and ambient temperatures. A rate dependent hysteretic model for the damper was calibrated and incorporated into the OpenSees program for use in seismic response analysis of steel MRF buildings with compressed elastomeric dampers. A simplified design procedure (SDP) developed by previous research was used to design a 0.6 scaled steel structure using elastomeric dampers, at a code specified and a reduced design base shear. OpenSees models of the designed structures were created and were used to investigate the effect of elastomeric dampers in improving the seismic performance of steel MRF structures. The real time hybrid simulation (RTHS) experiments performed on the structures designed with elastomeric dampers verified that the designed structures satisfied that objectives. The RTHS showed that the damper model predicts damper behavior with good accuracy and numerical simulations using OpenSees models provided good predictions of the behavior of structures designed with elastomeric dampers.