Structural Engineering Mitch and Jesse

Our solution: Tuned Liquid Damper


Vibration control is an important aspect when designing buildings, especially if they are tall. Buildings can get subjected to substantial vibration due to wind and earthquakes. When an earthquake waves travel through the building, it is subjected massive forces, acceleration and displacement that makes the building highly unstable and eventually it collapses. Additionally, as modern skyscrapers are made tall using flexible beams, wind can cause significant swaying of the building. This repeated load cycles can induce fatigue into the beams and can cause sea sick feeling for the residents living on top.

This happens....

Origin: TMD

Tuned Mass Dampers (TMDs) are the origin of TLDs. TMDs are implemented in most tall buildings to achieve vibration control since the 1950s. However, the more recent technology TLD, is a superior choice to tuned mass damper (TMD). TLD is more effective for absorbing low frequency vibrations produced due to wind, cost effective, requires less maintenance and easily implementable. The objective of this paper is to experimentally verify that TLD can substantially damp vibrations in a building. Also, the modelling of TLDs and various methods of improving its performance have been explored.

"Damper – A person or thing that has a depressing, subduing, or inhibiting effect."

Mass damper, Liquid dampers, base isolators and other supplemental damping systems (SDSs) are among the various alternatives used to reduce the vibrations on the structures. This paper will focus on one of these methods.

Tuned liquid Dampers (TLD)

Baffles added to further dampen vibration

Tuned liquid dampers have been used successfully over the past few years for controlling response of structures subjected to wind excitations.

Effects of a TLD

A TLD is a water-controlled dimension and water-depth container that uses the sloshing energy of the water to reduce the dynamic response of the system when the system is subjected to vibration. TLD has also been found to be very effective in cancelling directional movement caused due to wind.

On our desigN.....

A TLD is an economical control device that requires very little maintenance, and is effective in controlling response to bi-directional excitations too, as the water in the tank is not constrained to move only in one direction. This would help to keep the project cost-effective so that the owner of the building would not be paying over the expressed amount.

This design is easy to test in our experiments because all that is needed is a containment system and water.

Rough experiment similar to our model

More information can be found at:

  • (academic publication platform for professors, researchers, students, and the public sector.)
  • University of Notre Dame engineering Department
  • University of Washington courses



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