This paper presents a novel application of tensegrity systems as lightweight and noninvasive braces for seismically resistant structures. The analyzed braces consist of D-bar systems equipped with shape memory alloy cables with superelastic response. These structures are able to markedly amplify the applied longitudinal displacements in the transverse direction, thus allowing for considerably large deformations of the SMA cables and high energy dissipation. The mechanics and the application of tensegrity braces for the reinforcement of anti-seismic structures are presented. A comparative study matches the seismic response of the analyzed systems with that of devices employing fluid viscous dampers. The results highlight the fact that D-bar units can be profitably employed as building blocks for innovative bracing systems, whose energy dissipation properties can easily surpass those of conventional anti-seismic braces.
- Energy dissipation