AbstractThis paper investigates the seismic response analysis of the 9-story SAC building equipped with pressurized sand dampers, a new type of low-cost energy dissipation device where the material enclosed within the damper housing is pressurized sand. The strength of the pressurized sand damper is proportional to the externally exerted pressure on the sand via prestressed steel rods; therefore, the energy dissipation characteristics of a given pressurized sand damper can be adjusted according to a specific application. The strong pinching behavior of pressurized sand dampers was characterized with a previously developed three-parameter Bouc-Wen hysteretic model that for this study was implemented in the open source code OpenSees with a C++ algorithm, and it was used to analyze the seismic response of the 9-story SAC building subjected to six strong ground motions that exceed the design response spectrum for all soil categories. The paper shows that for the family of strong ground motions used in this study, pressurized sand dampers with strength of the order of 5%–10% of the weights of their corresponding floors were able to keep the interstory drifts of the 9-story SAC building at or below 1%, while base shears and peak plastic hinge rotations were reduced in the damped configuration. Supplemental damping produced mixed results on floor accelerations; nevertheless, in most floors, peak accelerations were reduced.

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