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After many hours and multiple classes of reviewing and discussing which was the more efficient method for making an earthquake-resistant building, I concluded that my group and I were going to make an earthquake-resistant construction by using the Tuned Mass Damper method. 

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The Tuned Mass Damper system, which is also commonly associated with the name Harmonic Absorber, is a device installed in constructions to decrease the building’s amplitude of mechanical vibrations. Their application can prevent discomfort, damage, or outright structural failure to a high rise building. They are also frequently used in power transmission and automobiles. Safety comes at a hefty price and standing by that statement, a tower’s tuned mass damper cost around US$4 million to build. (“Taipei 101’s 730-Ton Tuned Mass Damper”,2005) A tuned mass damper (TMD) consists of three parts, a mass (m), a spring (k), and a damping device (c). (“Tuned Mass Damper System”,2002) When an outside force is implemented, such as the earthquake underneath a skyscraper, there must be a quickening. Therefore, the residents in the tower would be able to detect this acceleration. To proceed with making the residents feel more relaxed, tuned mass dampers are installed in edifices where the horizontal diversions from the earthquakes energy are examined the exceptional establishment that should match so that when the construction begins to oscillate or sway, the Tuned mass Damper starts to take effect by creating an equivalent and opposing push on the property and when the establishment is compelled right, the Tuned Mass Damper, at the same instant, forces it to the left keeping its horizontal dispersion at or near zero. The mass can influence the building in moving the opposite way because of it’s centre of mass. This simple apparatus consists of a weight (called a bob) with a centre of mass. The bob is then hung from a higher point by a medium such as string or chain. The bob swings freely from its highest point of a swing to the opposite position of where it started. The highest point will have the maximum amount of kinetic energy and the mirror point to where it started will have no kinetic energy. Depending on the length of the thin piece of material such as wire or chain, the time of one string ability to swing is adjusted. Longer pendulums spend more time on the swinging motion than shorter lengthen pendulums. (“Centre of Mass”). However, if the rate of repetition were remarkably unlike, the Tuned Mass Damper would produce forces that were out of sync with the pushes from the earthquake amplitude, and the building’s to and fro would be intolerable for the residents inside, and the building would again experience too much action. The successfulness of a Tuned mass damper is reliant on the mass ratio (of the tuned mass damper to the building), the comparative number of the rate of occurrence of the tuned mass damper to the frequency of focal depth, magnitude, and frequency distribution of earthquakes and the dimming ratio of the tuned mass damper, which means how well the damping gadget takes in energy. 

Despite not having the material to make a real-life Tuned Mass Damper, we worked with the items that we had in the classroom. We concentrated on the fundamental features of the system, such as a mass that hangs from the ceiling which is the core of this techniques and springs attaching our weight to the roof. We made our core out of 3 marbles wrapped up in aluminium and then attached four elastic bands around our counterweight. We then stuck the elastic bands onto the top layer using hot glue. It was a necessity to not have the mass be too dense because we decided as a group that if the mass was too large it’ll not swing and counteract the direction as well as it would’ve if the weight were not as heavy because the pressure will not be equal and could potentially bring the model to a side instead of creating a horizontal displacement near to zero. Our elastic bands attaching the mass and the top level of our model were vital to making the mass swing and generating a plane movement near to zero. The elastic strings were able to stretch out of the model itself and could contradict the outflanking action of the model which by having two objects operating in the opposite direction would balance out the model. We made sure that our elastic band was coated in hot glue to make sure it’s secure and would not break while in a shaking motion.

I believe that my group’s model demonstrates my chosen earthquake resistant building technique well. My team and I could create a model that was stable and a secure environment for the mass that we hand-made. Our model was made up of five double layers of cardboard which formed four firm levels. This made our model’s structural integrity durable and could withstand a dominant side to side motion from the shake table. We decided to make our counterweight from scratch because we believed that we would have more control over the adjustability and we would be confident that the weight of the damper was not too heavy for just a cardboard model. Our model, however, did not have anything that we could attach it to the shake table other than connecting tape to the bottom cardboard level, this is the primary cause of damage and structural failure to our high-rise Cardboard model. Our model could withstand six seconds of intense shaking before the tape unattached, and our model fell to its right.  

After looking through our video of our model on the shake table, I concluded that our attachment to the model was done poorly. All things aside, our most thought out feature of our model was that it would be strong and would not be damaged after a harsh encounter, hence why we double layered most of our materials. I believe that we could do this successfully and even though our model fell over, it stayed in-tact. I also can see that our model was able to remain stable for so long because of the Tuned Mass Damper system that kept its horizontal displacement near to zero. Every time the model was thrust in a direction the counterweight would swing in the opposite which balanced out the sudden movements. 

Taipei 101, previously named as the Taipei World Financial Centre – is a well-known high rise structure located in Taipei, Taiwan. The judicious edifice is one of the most commonly associated high rises using the Tuned Mass Damper system. The Tuned Mass Damper is a ball of stacked steel plates measuring 18 feet in diameter and weighing 728 tons, suspended above Floor 87 by cables anchored at Floor 92. This system allows for withstanding typhoons and earthquakes, and it’s said to cut down on the swaying of the building by almost 40%. Acting like a giant pendulum, the massive steel ball sways to counteract the building’s movement caused by strong gusts of wind. Eight iron wires create a sling to carry the sphere, while eight adhesive restraints. Act as shock absorbers when the ball adjusts. The eight dampers have an acrylic adhesive which forms a strong bond when assembled using raised temperature and pressure. (“Design of a tuned mass damper for high-quality factor suspension”,2017). The technology in Taipei 101 is very efficient and has withstood multiple earthquakes and typhoons that have tested the limitations of the incredible infrastructure. Taipei 101 has stood firm against many natural disasters, one being the Sichuan Earthquake in China on May 12, 2008. The Sichuan Earthquake had an intense magnitude of 8.0 and residents of Taipei felt the tremble eight minutes after the earthquake originated. The Chinese government notified CNN that the earthquake caused 69,181 fatalities, 18,498 people listed as missing and 374,171 people were injured. (“China quake survivor recalled horror of 2008 as home shook”, 2013) Although the earthquake was not particularly close to Taipei 101, tremors were felt from the aftershock that occurred from May 12th, 2008 to May 28th, 2008.

Buildings, power transmission and automobiles that use the Tuned Mass Damper technique seem to have shown significant effect, improvement and progress from their previous state. For example, it’s been heard that Taipei 101 has cut down on the swaying of the building by almost 40%, which is fantastic progress. Once looking over all my research and data that my group and I had gathered regarding this project, I believe that my model was a well-done representation of a real-life building that used the same method. Despite not having the material to make a real-life appearing structure, I do think that we were able to show how the movement of the model and the mass counteract which creates a horizontal displacement near to zero.

Overall, I do believe that our method and model was a success. My group and I were able to show the process and visualise how building such as Taipei 101 work. We found flaws in the method as well as high positives. I believe that the Tuned Mass Damper is one of the greatest, if not the most efficient approach for an earthquake-resistant building.

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