The present paper presents a physical prototype that simulates the response of a single degree of freedom dynamic system, equipped with a novel semi-active vibration control device. This device comprises two superelastic NiTi elements working in phase opposition and aims to prevent deck unseating in simply supported bridges, during a seismic excitation. The special design of this device allows to avoid problems related to stress-relaxation phenomena and material degradation because of cyclic loading that have been observed in similar passive dissipation devices. The proposed design uses a strategy that permits the continuous adapting of the accumulated stress in the NiTi wires, on the basis of the response of the device to external excitations. Although unloaded, the NiTi elements remain strain/stress free, preventing stress-relaxation phenomena. With the occurrence of a dynamic excitation, a cumulative strain/stress process in the superelastic wires is initiated, enabling higher martensite transformation ratios and therefore increasing the damping capacities of the system while keeping the stresses in the wires inside a narrower superelastic window. The strain/stress accumulation in the superelastic wires is a direct result of the motion of the structure itself, with no need for external energy input.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-902
Number of pages13
JournalStructural Control and Health Monitoring
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • energy dissipation systems
  • seismic devices
  • semi-active vibration control
  • shape-memory alloys
  • superelasticity
  • unseating


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