AbstractThe mechanical properties of viscoelastic (VE) dampers directly affect the aseismic performance of viscoelastically damped structures; therefore, it is of great significance to accurately describe the nonlinear mechanical characteristics of VE dampers in the aseismic design and analysis of structures. However, most of the existing mathematical models for VE dampers have been established from a macroscopic perspective, and there is a general lack of a comprehensive connection to the microstructure characteristics of VE materials and external influence factors such as loading frequency, ambient temperature, and strain amplitude. In this paper, inspired by the molecular chain network models and fractional derivative theory, a microstructure-based equivalent visco-hyperelastic model is proposed for VE dampers with consideration of temperature dependence and the filler reinforcement effect. To verify the characterization capacity of the proposed model, laboratory experiments on the dynamic property of VE dampers were carried out with varying frequencies, temperatures, and strain amplitudes, and the proposed model was then employed to predict the experimental results. Finally, model parameter analysis was conducted to clarify the relationship between material microstructure and its macroscopic performance. The experiments indicate that the VE damper possesses an excellent energy-dissipation capability, and characteristic parameters of VE dampers tend to be more sensitive in the low ranges of frequency and temperature than in the high ranges. Comparisons between the experimental and numerical results suggest that the proposed model can describe the mechanical properties of VE dampers at different frequencies, temperatures, and strain amplitudes with good accuracy. Parameter analysis demonstrates that the proposed model can reflect the influence of material microstructure on the macroscopic mechanical properties of VE dampers.