AbstractNonlinear analyses of structures under dynamic excitation are becoming increasingly important in structural design and performance evaluation, but large computational effort is the main factor that limits their application. Because nonlinearity is commonly confined within small regions, many studies have been devoted to improving the efficiency of solving such local nonlinear problems by maintaining the structural stiffness elasticity and simulating the effects of local nonlinearity through fictitious nonlinear forces or local modification of the elastic structural response. For dynamic analysis, the nature of the stiffness matrix determines the formulation of the widely used Rayleigh damping; as a result, these local nonlinear analysis methods often use elastic stiffness-based Rayleigh damping models. However, such a damping model can generate unexpected artificial damping forces for inelastic systems and consequently produce inaccurate or even invalid results. Although a tangent stiffness–based Rayleigh damping model has been proven to be a reasonable basis for performing highly accurate dynamic analyses, this type of damping model has difficulty achieving direct compatibility with local nonlinear analysis methods. The present research focuses on the implementation of a tangent stiffness–based Rayleigh damping model for use in efficient local nonlinear analysis methods developed based on the Woodbury formula, which can calculate the structural inelastic behavior by updating the elastic solution rather than by updating the stiffness. By representing tangent stiffness–based Rayleigh damping as a low-rank perturbation to the elastic stiffness-based damping matrix, this study derives a modified dynamic Woodbury formula in which an additional influence coefficient is introduced to reflect the effects of local nonlinearity on the structural damping properties. Moreover, to overcome the potential solution difficulty caused by abrupt changes in the damping forces in certain steps and further improve the efficiency of the proposed method, a variable time step solution scheme that can meet the computational requirements of the Woodbury formula is presented. Verifications demonstrate the validity and high efficiency of the proposed method.