Energy dissipation systems
Energy dissipation systems can be effectively used as an alternative to traditional techniques of earthquake protection of the structures.
The wide scientific research as well as the several applications show that the use of supporting devices may assure in different ways an increase of the dissipated energy during the earthquake, with a huge benefit in terms of reduction of the accelerations and of the forces conveyed to the vertical structures.
There are several methods and techniques, designed to increase the energy dissipation abilities. The so-called “passive” energy dissipation systems use a wide range of materials and devices, based on different physical principles: mechanical hysteresis due to plastic deformation, viscosity, viscoelasticity, friction. Such systems have the ability to increase energy dissipation of structures, on which they are applied, essentially transforming kinetic energy in heat by means of the above mentioned phenomena.
A typical viscosity dissipating device (damper) is made up of a piston, soaked in a viscous fluid. By means of the movement of the piston in this highly viscous fluid, energy is dissipated. In recent years, these types of devices have been used in many civil engineering structures, in various parts of the world and in Italy, as well.
Scientific research and practical application of energy dissipation systems, from the viscous ones to the hysteretic ones, have managed to reach a high reliability and knowledge level of such technologies, providing for accurate tools and models, required for design.