Damping system for long‐span suspension bridges

Randi Nøhr Møller*, Steen Krenk, Martin N. Svendsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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A damping system targeting flutter instability motions of long‐span suspension bridges is presented. The damping system consists of four symmetrically located and equally tuned passive devices extracting energy from the structural system, based on the relative displacement between the pylons and the main suspension cables. Each device consists of a viscous damper and a spring in parallel, connecting the pylon to the suspension cable via a pretensioned cable. The tuning of the damping system is based on the asymptotic solution to a two‐component subspace approximation, using still‐air modes as input. It is shown that the simple tuning approach provides accurate results and that the damping system is capable of providing a relatively high amount of damping on the modes relevant for flutter. The efficacy of the damping system is illustrated numerically on a full aeroelastic model of a single‐span suspension
bridge with and without midspan cable clamps, and it is found that the stability limit of both structural systems can be increased significantly. Also, the buffeting response is evaluated, and especially, the torsional response is lowered. Different device configurations are investigated by shifting the anchorage point on the pylon and on the suspension cable, and the influence of the flexible connecting cable is assessed. Finally, design considerations concerning spring deformations, pretensioning of the system, and in‐service displacements and forces are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2448
JournalStructural Control and Health Monitoring
Issue number12
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • Damper calibration
  • Long-span bridges
  • Passive damping
  • Passive flutter control
  • Suspension bridges

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