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Mechanical Systems
Signal Processing
Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

Robust design of mass-uncertain rolling-pendulum TMDs for

the seismic protection of buildings
Emiliano Matta, Alessandro De Stefano
Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, 24 Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, Torino 10129, Italy
Received 27 March 2007; received in revised form 5 August 2007; accepted 27 August 2007
Available online 2 September 2007


Commonly used for mitigating wind- and trafc-induced vibrations in exible structures, passive tuned mass dampers
(TMDs) are rarely applied to the seismic control of buildings, their effectiveness to impulsive loads being conditional upon
adoption of large mass ratios. Instead of recurring to cumbersome metal or concrete devices, this paper suggests meeting
that condition by turning into TMDs non-structural masses sometimes available atop buildings. An innovative
roof-garden TMD, for instance, sounds a promising tool capable of combining environmental and structural protection in
one device.
Unfortunately, the amount of these masses being generally variable, the resulting mass-uncertain TMD (MUTMD)
appears prone to mistuning and control loss. In an attempt to minimize such adverse effects, robust analysis and synthesis
against mass variations are applied in this study to MUTMDs of the rolling-pendulum type, a conguration characterized
by mass-independent natural period.
Through simulations under harmonic and recorded ground motions of increasing intensity, the performance of circular
and cycloidal rolling-pendulum MUTMDs is evaluated on an SDOF structure in order to illustrate their respective
advantages as well as the drawbacks inherent in their non-linear behavior. A possible implementation of a roof-garden
TMD on a real building structure is described and its control efcacy numerically demonstrated, showing that in practical
applications MUTMDs can become a good alternative to traditional TMDs.
r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Seismic protection; Passive TMD; Uncertainty; Rolling-pendulum; Non-linearity; Roof-garden

1. Introduction

Vibration control of building structures has received increasing attention over the years. To
improve serviceability and occupant comfort, the passive tuned mass damper (TMD) [1] has been widely
applied since the 1970s on tall buildings, proving a simple, cheap and effective device to mitigate wind
response [25].
More controversial is TMDs efciency in responding to seismic loads. Ever since the early studies in the
late 1960s, authors have either stressed its substantial performance reduction in confronting earthquakes

Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 011 5644884; fax: +39 011 5644899.
E-mail addresses: (E. Matta), (A. De Stefano).

0888-3270/$ - see front matter r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
128 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

rather than harmonic inputs [6,3135] or overpraised its residual control capability [7,3642], eventually
reaching a more balanced attitude only in recent years [8,9,43,44], when it was nally recognized that TMDs
seismic efciency is undoubtedly limited by the impulsive character of the input, by the contributions from the
uncontrolled modes and by the mistuning effect due to structural non-linearities; but that through some
precautions in design [8], provided that enough mass ratio is supplied, acceptable performance can be attained,
at least against narrow frequency band and long duration quakes, and more in reducing low cycle fatigue
accumulated damage than extreme peak response [9].
As a consequence of this durable wariness towards a seismic use of TMDs, alternative passive
control systems, such as base isolation or dissipative bracings, are generally preferred. TMDs have found
no place in recently issued seismic regulations, such as the new Italian Seismic Code Ord. 3274 (2003) [10],
which instead devoted much attention to base isolation. To make TMDs an attractive option, new
motivations are needed, which is plausible to search in technology development not less than in theoretical
In current installations on buildings, the dampers mass consists of lead, steel or concrete blocks, having
no purpose but the structural one. Some cases exist worldwide of TMDs engineered without
introducing additional weight on the structure, relying instead on available masses on the top oor,
such as ice thermal or water tanks (Sea Hawk Hotel and Resort in Fukuoka, 1989; Crystal Tower in Osaka,
1992) [5].
Bringing such concept to its extremes, this paper suggests turning into TMDs masses already present on
buildings, including those whose value is expected to vary with time. If such passive mass-uncertain TMDs
(MUTMDs) were shown to still be effective, a new family of cheap and unobtrusive TMDs would be
exploitable, ranging from uid reservoirs to technical installations to the very idea of oating oors and roof-
gardens [11].
Unfortunately, mass variation in a TMD inevitably reduces its performance with respect to the case
of a constant mass, inducing off-tuning (or mistuning) effects, against which the TMD notoriously
shows scarce robustness. Robustness against mistuning has been extensively addressed in the past,
receiving a decisive contribution in early 1990s with the invention by Igusa and Xu [12] of multiple
TMDs, whose lesser sensibility to mistuning was immediately recognized and subsequently investigated
by several authors [1317], on the basis of a common approach which could be labeled nominal synthesis
plus robust analysis [18], where uncertainties merely appear in a perturbation analysis performed at the
end of an independent design procedure. More recently, examples of robust design have been proposed in
which uncertainty directly enters the design phase [19,20]. In all cited contributions, however, no mass
uncertainty is considered and the robust analysis is restricted to linear models. A study on wind effects
mitigation through multiple MUTMDs, recently presented by the authors [21], was circumscribed to the same
linear range as well.
In this paper, addressing the control of the seismic response of a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF)
structure, robust synthesis and robust analysis against mass variations are applied to MUTMDs of the rolling-
pendulum type, adopting for mass perturbations a worst-case approach which avoids the needs for a
probabilistic description. Instead of the classical translational TMD (TTMD), the rolling-pendulum TMD is
chosen here since its period, solely dependent on the shape of the rolling prole, is unaffected by mass
variations, making it a privileged candidate for enhanced robustness. Since the angular deections of a rolling-
pendulum TMD may be large for stiff structures under seismic input, non-linearity plays a fundamental role,
here investigated considering two possible choices of the rolling prole, the circle and the cycloid, the former
adopted as the classical prole, the latter chosen as the much praised tautochronic prole, used since early
1980s in centrifugal pendulum dynamic absorbers (CPVAs) to suppress in-plane vibrations of mechanical
rotors [22,23].
The material is presented as follows. Section 2 derives the mathematical model for the absorber and
sets the worst-case HN optimization problem for an SDOF system equipped with a linear MUTMD. Section 3
solves the linear HN robust synthesis and applies the robust analysis under harmonic and seismic excita-
tions, both in the linear and non-linear domains. Section 4 proposes an innovative roof-garden TMD
for the reduction of the seismic response of a multi-storey building structure currently under completion in
Central Italy.
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 129

2. Preliminaries

In this section an SDOF structure is equipped with a rolling-pendulum MUTMD. The non-linear equations
of motion are derived for both the circular and the cycloidal proles and the linearized optimum damper is
designed through a worst-case HN robust procedure.

2.1. Modeling the mechanical system

In applications to building structures, the basic concept of the mass-spring-dashpot absorber has found
through the years a variety of implementations (Fig. 1), which may be conveniently grouped into the two
categories of TTMDs and pendulum TMDs (PTMDs). Equivalent in the absence of mass variations as far as
their linear response is considered, the TTMD and the PTMD diverge under mass perturbations, in that the
TTMD will change its natural frequency while the PTMD will keep it unaltered. Aiming at limiting mistuning
effects due to mass variations, this study focuses on PTMDs, leaving the robust assessment of mass-uncertain
TTMDs to further work.
As their non-linear response is considered, moreover, alternative PTMDs perform differently. Tuning to a
rigid structure, for instance, requires a small pendulum length, making a rolling PTMD preferable to a
hanging PTMD. Also, since the non-linear response depends on the pendulum trajectory, the rolling type
offers an innite variety of proles to the designer, which can optimally select among them, whilst the hanging
type basically entails the circular one. At last, the risk of large radial accelerations imposes the need of a
bilateral constraint in order for the PTMD to keep its track, which can be obtained recurring to rigid bars for
hanging PTMDs and to bilar congurations for rolling PTMDs. To this regard, the 3D rolling PTMD
presented by the authors in [11] and the ball TMD by Pirner [24] does not seem as the optimal solutions,
especially in view of geometric constraints related to ball bearing dimensions, whilst preferable appears the
planar cradle TMD [25] provided that the inventors adopted a bilateral constraint on the example of bilar
CPVAs [22].
Because of its superior exibility, the rolling PTMD is chosen in this study as the paradigm for the PTMD
conguration, and particularly two paths are considered, the circle and the cycloid, implicitly intended as
bilateral constraints for the dampers center of mass.
As to the structure, assuming its target mode is far enough from adjacent modes [26], it will be idealized as a
linear SDOF system in Sections 2 and 3. In Section 4 a generalization to an MDOF linear structure will be
nally illustrated by means of an example.

Spring & damper Rubber bearings Double mass

Rigid bar pendulum Simple pendulum Compound pendulum

Rocker pendulum Ball pendulum Roller pendulum

Fig. 1. Some possible schemes of TMD for controlling horizontal motion of building structures.
130 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147


ca ma
 G za
G0 za

ms R

cs xs xa

Fig. 2. Rolling-pendulum TMD on an SDOF structure: (a) structural scheme; (b) alternative rolling proles: circle (black) and cycloid

This stated, the analytical model can be derived. In Fig. 2(a) an SDOF structure having stiffness ks,
damping coefcient cs and mass ms and subjected to the ground acceleration x g t is equipped with a rolling-
pendulum TMD having (uncertain) mass ma and damping ca. Also, xs(t) is the displacement of the structure
relative to the ground, xa(t) and za(t) the TMDs horizontal and vertical displacements relative to the
structure, y(t) the TMDs angular deection. Not drawn for claritys sake, a rotational spring is modeled
which is activated when |y(t)| exceeds an assigned limit ymax40, simulating a non-dissipative impact against a
rigid boundary constraint.
For any arbitrary law xa(y) and za(y), the equations of motion can be derived applying Lagranges
equations, the two generalized coordinates being chosen as xs and y. Two proles are here considered, the
circle and the cycloid (Fig. 2(b)), the former as the traditional path, the easiest to carve and the one
corresponding to hanging pendulums, the latter because of its tautochronic property [27], by virtue of which
the period of free un-damped oscillations is isochronous regardless of the amplitude [22,28].
Referring the reader to Appendix A for details, once the circular path is described by xa(y) R sin y and
za(y) R (1cos y) and the cycloidal path by xa(y) R (sin 2y+2y)/4 and za(y) R (1cos 2y)/4, the
Lagranges equations are, respectively, derived for the circle as
ms x g x s cs x_ s ks xs ma x g x s R cos yy  R sin yy_ 0, (1)

ca R cos2 yy_ ma g sin y wy 0,

ma x g x s cos y Ry (2)
and for the cycloid as
 R sin 2yy_ 2  0,
ms x g x s cs x_ s ks xs ma x g x s R1 cos 2yy=2 (3)

_ ma g sin 2y 2wy 0,
ma x g x s 1 cos 2y R1 cos 2yy  R sin 2yy_  ca R1 cos 2y2 y=2
where the term wy kma gjyj  ymax sgn y stepjyj  ymax accounts for the aforementioned boundary
constraint whenever |y|4ymax40.
Linearizing either Eqs. (1) and (2) or Eqs. (3) and (4), neglecting the boundary constraint, imposing xa Ry
and rearranging terms nally lead to
ms x g x s cs x_ s ks xs ca x_ a ma g=Rxa , (5)

ma x g x s x a ca x_ a ma g=Rxa 0. (6)
In what follows, Eqs. (1) and (2) provide the model for the non-linear circular TMD, Eqs. (3) and (4) for the
non-linear cycloidal TMD, Eqs. (5) and (6) for the linearized TMD.
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 131

2.2. Setting the optimization problem

In the present study, mass uncertainty is dealt with according to a worst-case approach, where no
probabilistic description is needed and merely lower and upper bounds are set for the uncertain parameters.
Identifying in the sequel by the subscript 0 the nominal value of any system parameter prone to vary with
the mass variation, uncertainty alters the TMDs mass from its nominal (and mean) value ma0 according to
ma ma0 1 d 8d 2 <=jdjpd, (7)
where d is the admitted percentage bound on the mass variation from its nominal value.
Using Eqs. (5)(7) and further posing o2s ks =ms , zs cs/2msos, o2a0 keq0 =ma0 , za0 ca/2ma0oa0,
ma0 ma0/ms, ra0 oa0/os, r o/os, the transfer function from x g t to xs t, normalized to have a unit peak
for the uncontrolled structure [17,21], is given by
m 1 d1 dr2a0 i2za0 ra0 r
q 1 0
1 dr2a0 i2za0 ra0 r  1 dr2
H xs x g 2zs 1  z2s  , (8)
m 1 d1 dr2a0 i2za0 ra0 r
1 i2zs r  r2 1 0
1 dr2a0 i2za0 ra0 r  1 dr2
where os and os are the circular frequency and the damping ratio of the structure; oa0, za0, m0 and ra0 are the
nominal circular frequency, the nominal damping ratio, the nominal mass ratio and the nominal frequency
ratio of the MUTMD, respectively, and r is the input frequency ratio.
The aim of the chosen worst-case HN approach is to select the control parameters ra0 and za0 so that the
worst-case HN norm:
R max jjH xs x g jj1 max max jH xs x g j (9)
d d r

is minimum for any given design scenario, i.e. for any given pair (m0, d).
In other words, the optimization is nally formalized as the robust synthesis problem:
Ropt Ropt m0 ; d min R min max max jH xs x g j; jdjpd, (10)
ra0 ;za0 ra0 ;za0 d r

and the pair of optimization variables solving the min.max. problem above are denoted as
ra0opt ra0opt m0 ; d; za0opt za0opt m0 ; d. (11)
If the control parameters are selected obeying Eq. (11) depending on the expected uncertainty d ds (the
subscript s standing for synthesis), the worst-case HN response in the presence of the actual uncertainty
d da (the subscript a standing for analysis), where in general da6ds, is given by the following robust
analysis equation:
Rd a d s Rd a d s m0 ; d s ; d a max max jH xs x g jrc0opt ;za0opt ; jdjpd a . (12)
d r

3. Results

In this section, the seismic effectiveness of MUTMD is investigated. At rst, the linear worst-case HN
robust synthesis is solved and its validity assessed through a linear worst-case HN robust analysis. Then, the
obtained optimal congurations are tested under different excitation scenarios in order to highlight the issues
of non-linearity and seismic performance.

3.1. Response to harmonic excitations in the linear domain

The optimization problem dened by Eq. (10) is herein solved through a branch and bound search, the same
presented for multiple TMDs by the authors in [21], which the interested reader is referred to for any further
132 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

1 0.3 1
0 = 1% 0 = 1%
0.95 0 = 2% 0 = 2%
0.25 0.8
0 = 5% 0 = 5%
0.9 0 = 10% 0 = 10%
0 = 20% 0.6 0 = 20%



0 = 1% 0.15
0.8 0.4
0 = 2%
0 = 5%
0 = 10% 0.05 0.2
0.7 0 = 20%
0.65 0 0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
d d d

Fig. 3. Robust synthesisoptimal parameters and response as functions of the design uncertainty d for various m0.

ds = da = 0%
0.7 ds = 50% da = 0%
ds = da = 50%
ds = 0% da = 50%

|Hxs xg|





0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1 1.1 1.2 1.3

Fig. 4. Worst-case transfer functionstrade-off between nominal and robust design, given m0 5% and either d 0% or 50%.

A variety of design scenarios, each identied by a different pair (m0, d), are considered, with m0 equalling in
turn 1%, 2%, 5%, 10%, 20% and d varying between 0% and 50%. Structural damping is xed at zs 0.02.
Once the optimal parameters are determined, the robust analysis is nally accomplished according to Eq. (12)
letting da vary.
The results of the robust synthesis are given in Fig. 3, where the optimal parameters and the corresponding
optimal response are plotted as a function of the perturbation bound d which, being this a synthesis problem,
stands for both ds and da, which are, in fact, equal.
For d 0 (nominal design), the MUTMD coincides with the traditional constant mass TMD and well-
known results are found [17]. As d increases, ra0opt remains virtually unchanged, za0opt undergoes an almost
constant decrease and Ropt regularly increases, independently on the assigned m0. Since mass variations do not
affect its natural frequency, evidently the main drawback of a MUTMD is that its mass can be reduced with
respect to the nominal value, which inevitably leads to a control reduction. Recalling that a smaller mass ratio
requires a smaller optimal damping [1], reducing za0opt is a means for maximizing the control effectiveness for
the worst possible scenario, in fact, corresponding to the minimum mass ratio.
To show the effects of mass perturbations and the advantages of the robust design, Fig. 4 applies the robust
analysis of Eq. (12) to the case when m0 5%. The two alternatives of nominal (ds 0%) and robust
(ds 50%) design are examined, and for each alternative the worst-case transfer function is computed twice,
rst under no uncertainty (da 0%) and then under the maximum uncertainty (da 50%). Four curves are
thus plotted, from the lowest to the highest describing: (1) the response due to a nominally optimized constant
mass TMD (ds da 0%); (2) the worst-case response due to the robustly optimized MUTMD
(ds da 50%); (3) the response for the robustly optimized MUTMD when the expected perturbation
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 133

1 1
ds = da ds = d a
ds = 0.0 ds = 0.0
0.8 ds = 0.1
0.8 ds = 0.1
ds = 0.2 ds = 0.2
ds = 0.3 ds = 0.3
0.6 0.6 ds = 0.4
ds = 0.4

a s
Rd d

0.4 0.4

0.2 0.2

0 0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.5
da da

Fig. 5. Robust analysisworst-case response as a function of the effective uncertainty da, for varying design uncertainty ds for m0 1%
(on the left) and m0 20% (on the right).

does not occur (ds 50%, da 0%); (4) the worst possible scenario at all, when mass variations, erroneously
neglected at the design stage, actually occur (ds 0%, da 50%). Coherently with Section 2.2, the peaks of
the four curves in ascending order are denoted as R0%0%oR0%50%oR50%50%oR50%0%.
The four curves reveal a trade-off between nominal and robust syntheses: admitting that mass variation
occurs within a given bound, the robust synthesis provides the best possible performance if the expected
perturbation occurs (R50%50%oR50%0%), but on the other hand worsens the performance with respect to the
nominal design if no perturbation occurs (R0%50%4R0%0%). This is a general rule in robust control. No
wonder it applies to MUTMDs. What may be of some interest, though, is to quantify such trade-off.
To this purpose, the robust analysis presented in Fig. 4 is extended to various combinations of ds and da,
and results are presented in Fig. 5 for m0 1% (left) and m0 20% (right). In both diagrams, several robust
designs are rst accomplished, each one based on a different expected uncertainty ds (in turn equal to 0%,
10%, 20%, 30%, and 40%); then, for each robust design, a robust analysis curve is plotted providing the
worst-case response under an increasing actual uncertainty da (ranging from 0% to 50%). The mentioned
trade-off reects in any two curves intersecting one another. The minimum envelope of all possible robust
analysis curves (the thickest line in each picture) is the locus of the optimal robust syntheses, corresponding to
the case when the actual perturbation equals the expected one.
The main result is that the robustness can always be improved using a robust synthesis based on a correct
estimation of the expected uncertainty, even though the advantage of such robust design progressively
diminishes as m0 increases, since in this case the TMD gets increasingly robust to mass variations even if not
robustly optimized (intrinsic robustness of large mass ratios).

3.2. Response to seismic excitations in the linear domain

In this section, the seismic performance of MUTMDs is evaluated for the linear case using ground
acceleration time-histories as the input.
Spectrum-compatible recorded accelerograms are chosen as allowed by the Eurocode 8 (EC8) [29] and by
the Italian Code. A set of seven accelerograms is used so that their average response can be used for
assessment instead of the most severe response. The set is the one selected from the ESD (European Strong-
motion Database) in [30] and adopted for soft soils (soil type C) by ReLUIS (Italian National Network of
University Laboratories of Earthquake Engineering). Soil type C is chosen since the relative spectral shape,
being the same as for soil types B and D, is representative of most Italian site conditions, and since it
corresponds to the stratigraphy encountered in the application proposed in Section 4. The seven
accelerograms are scaled so as to have the same peak ground acceleration (from now on: pga), evaluated
134 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

as the product of the site amplication factor S (1.25 for soil type C) times the reference pga on soil type A,
indicated as ag and classied by the Italian Code in four hazard levels or zones (from zone 4 to 1: ag 0.05,
0.15, 0.25, and 0.35 g).
Time-history simulations are thus conducted based on Eqs. (5) and (6), with the uncertain mass given by Eq.
(7), the structural damping still assumed as zs 2%, and TMDs frequency ratio and damping ratio equal to
the optimum values derived from the HN robust synthesis. As for the HN analysis, a worst-case approach is
here adopted whereby the response to each accelerogram is evaluated as the maximum over the entire range of
admissible perturbations. The average spectra of, respectively, the peak and the mean structural pseudo-
accelerations are therefore introduced as
1X n
1X n
Ap T Ap;i T max max jai tjT ; jdjpd a , (13)
n i1 n i1 d t

1X n
1X n
Am T Am;i T max mean jai tjT ; jdjpd a ; (14)
n i1 n i1 d t

where ai(t) xs,i(t)?(2p/T)2 is the pseudo-acceleration of a structure of period T under the ith accelerogram
(out of n 7 records), equipped with an MUTMD subjected to the mass perturbation d and designed for the
expected uncertainty ds.
Based on Eqs. (13) and (14), the MUTMDs seismic performance is measured by comparing controlled and
uncontrolled spectra for various combinations of m0, ds and da.
The nominal case (ds da 0) is presented in Fig. 6, where the peak (left) and the mean (right) spectra are
plotted for different values of m0. A considerable loss of control effectiveness is observed with respect to the
harmonic input case. A satisfactory reduction of the mean response is still appreciated, certainly useful in
limiting oligo-cyclic fatigue, but large mass ratios are needed to acceptably cut down the peak response.
Mass uncertainty is then introduced in Fig. 7 for m0 5% under the assumption that ds da d. As d
augments the worst-case controlled spectra increasingly approach the uncontrolled spectrum, less rapidly for
the mean response than for the peak response.
A notable feature is that the percentage response reduction is approximately constant over the entire range
of periods, for any assigned pair (m0, d). This allows for a more concise representation, provided that peak and
mean normalized pseudo-acceleration indices, respectively, Ap,norm and Am,norm, are introduced, obtained for
every pair (m0, d) by dividing the (respectively, peak and mean) controlled spectrum by the uncontrolled one
and then averaging over the whole period range. Fig. 8 plots Ap,norm (left) and Am,norm (right) on the vertical
axis as functions of the mass uncertainty, for different mass ratios.

4 0.6
Uncontrolled Uncontrolled
3.5 0 = 1% 0 = 1%
0 = 2% 0 = 2%
0 = 5% 0 = 5%
0.4 0 = 10%
2.5 0 = 10%
Am / (S ag)
Ap / (S ag)

0 = 20% 0 = 20%
2 0.3


0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
T (s) T (s)

Fig. 6. Peak and mean linear pseudo-acceleration spectra for traditional constant mass TMDsuncontrolled and controlled cases for
different mass ratios.
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 135

4 0.6
Uncontrolled Uncontrolled
3.5 d = 0% d = 0%
d = 10%
d = 10%
3 d = 50% d = 50%


Am / (S ag)
Ap / (S ag)

2 0.3


0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
T (s) T (s)

Fig. 7. Peak and mean linear pseudo-acceleration spectra with m0 5% under varying mass uncertaintycomparison with the
uncontrolled case and the ideal case with no mass uncertainty.

1 1

0.9 0.9

0.8 0.8
Am, norm
Ap, norm

0.7 0.7

0.6 0.6

0.5 0.5
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
d d

Fig. 8. Peak and mean normalized linear pseudo-acceleration indices as functions of the mass uncertainty (from the thinner to the thicker
curve: m0 1%, 2%, 5%, 10%, and 20%).

3.3. Response to harmonic excitations in the non-linear domain

As a preliminary step towards seismic assessment, this section compares the steady-state response of an
SDOF linear structure, equipped with either a circular or a cycloidal MUTMD, to harmonic base
accelerations of increasing amplitudes. Worst-case non-linear transfer functions are obtained by points, i.e. by
numerically integrating, at varying input frequency, the non-linear models of Eqs. (1)(4) and by taking the
maximum steady-state amplitude. In all simulations, zs 2%, ymax 901 and k 10 000. The ground
acceleration is applied as x g t gC sin2prt; where g is the gravity constant, C is a non-dimensional
excitation amplitude, r the excitation frequency ratio and t t/T the non-dimensional time.
In Fig. 9 the transfer functions are presented for the normalized angular deection y/ymax (left) and the
normalized structural displacement H xs x g (right) in case of circular and cycloidal TMDs having m0 5% and
ds da 0%. These pictures are useful to reveal TMDs progressive effectiveness reduction under increasing
input amplitudes (namely C 0.04, 0.05, 0.06), and particularly the peculiar unstable behavior of the
136 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

1 1

0.8 Cycloid 0.8

0.6 0.6 Cycloid


s xg
0.4 0.4

0.2 0.2

0 0
0.75 0.8 0.85 0.9 0.95 1 1.05 1.1 1.15 0.75 0.8 0.85 0.9 0.95 1 1.05 1.1 1.15
r r

Fig. 9. Non-linear transfer functions for circular and cycloidal TMDs with m0 5% and ds da 0% (from the thinner to the thicker
curve: C 0.04, 0.05, and 0.06).

cycloidal type. For C 0.04, the angular deection is still small enough (in fact yE521) for the cycloid to keep
most of its linear performance, thanks to its tautochronic property; and is actually even smaller for the circle
(due to its smaller curvature) but not enough to prevent the increment in its period from causing mistuning,
with a subsequent increase in the structural response. For C 0.05, as long as the cycloid is considered, the
angular deection suddenly increases until |y| ymax 901 around the two natural frequencies of the overall
system, so that the boundary constraint is repetitively impacted. This effect, regarded as something to be
hopefully avoided (and thus admittedly modeled with a certain superciality in this study), still does not
prevent the TMD from exerting some residual mitigation capability, witnessed by the peak structural response
being still much less than the uncontrolled one. Also, within the rst of the two frequency bandwidths where
|y|/ymax 1, jH xs x g j steeply increases up to its peak, then undergoes a sudden jump as soon as |y|/ymax starts
decreasing. As to the circle, |y|/ymax still remains well under 1, maybe partly due to the mistuning effect which
uncouples the TMD from the structure, and jH xs x g j is augmented but much less than for the cycloid.
As C 0.06, for the cycloidal TMD the impact frequency bandwidth gets even larger and the peak structural
response reaches the uncontrolled value, whilst the circular TMD, though heavily frustrated, is still benecial.
To better view these effects, Fig. 10 represents, again for m0 5% and ds da 0%, some relevant features
of the non-linear response as a function of the increasing input amplitude C, namely: the peak ypeak/ymax of
|y|/ymax (top-left); the peak Rd a d s of jH xs x g j (top-right); the excitation frequency ratio rpeak at which jH xs x g j is
maximum (bottom-left); the angular deection |y(rpeak)|/ymax concomitant with jH xs x g j being maximum
Fig. 10 catches the dramatic difference between circular and cycloidal TMDs against increasing excitations.
Both undergo a loss of control effectiveness as C increases, documented by Rd a d s approaching 1 and eventually
exceeding it (when their mass virtually adds to the structural mass). But this loss is gradual for the circle and
sudden for the cycloid, for which it occurs as soon as a critical input amplitude C is exceeded. In the subcritical
region, ypeak/ymax is lower for the circle than for the cycloid, as expected in view of the greater curvature of the
latter, but interestingly |y(rpeak)|/ymax is almost the same for both paths, while Rd a d s keeps atter for the cycloid
because of its isochronous property. As the critical amplitude is passed, however, for the cycloidal case rpeak
suddenly drops, |y(rpeak)|/ymax jumps to 1 and Rd a d s starts rapidly growing; whilst for the circular case the
amplitude-dependence continues being gradual and a jump happens for the angular deection only when most
effectiveness has already been lost, having anyway little inuence on Rd a d s .
It is worth noticing that the failure of the cycloidal TMD does not result from the literature on CPVA [28],
since the angular deections of practical interest explored in there are typically bounded by about 25301,
which is enough to appreciate cycloidal advantages (especially in lightly damped systems) but still well inside
the subcritical region.
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 137

1.2 1.2

1 Circle Circle
Cycloid Cycloid
0.8 0.8
peak / max

0.6 0.6

0.4 0.4

0.2 0.2

0 0
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1

0.9 1.2
1.1 Circle Circle
1.05 Cycloid Cycloid
| (rpeak)| /max


0.9 0.6
0.9 0
0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1

Fig. 10. Some non-linear steady-state relevant responses vs. the ground acceleration amplitude C, for circular and cycloidal TMDs with
m0 5%. No mass uncertainty considered.

Fig. 11 extends these results to the uncertain case, for two mass ratios (m0 1%, 10%) and for three levels
of uncertainty (ds da 0%, 10%, 20%). The mass uncertainty does not affect the basic behavior described
above, merely slightly increasing the response and anticipating the jump effect. Also, as expected, the larger m0
the more the curves are shifted rightwards because of the larger damping ratio reducing TMDs relative

3.4. Response to seismic excitations in the non-linear domain

This paragraph evaluates the seismic performance of the MUTMD, now nally modeled as a non-linear
system, under the same set of accelerograms used in Section 3.2.
Section 3.3, restricted to harmonic inputs, does not tell much on the actual non-linear behavior under real
earthquakes. Some useful indications can be derived instead from Fig. 12, where the peak relative
displacement spectra (Xa,p) for a linearized constant mass TMD are plotted (conveniently normalized to the
pga value, Sag) together with the curves (one for each value of ag) representing the radius R of the rolling
prole when the same linearized TMD is exactly tuned to the structural period T. Interpreting the continuous
lines as the seismic displacement demand and the dotted line as a measure of the TMDs displacement
capacity, it appears that the tuning condition results into a geometric constraint on the maximum available
TMDs relative displacement, particularly strict for rigid structures and for small mass ratios. The result is
138 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

1.2 1.2
Circle - ds = da = 0%
1 1 Circle - ds = da = 10%
Circle - ds = da = 20%
Cycloid - ds = da = 0%
0.8 0.8
Cycloid - ds = da = 10%
Cycloid - ds = da = 20%

Rd ds

0.6 0.6

Circle - ds = da = 0%
Circle - ds = da = 10%
0.4 0.4
Circle - ds = da = 20%
Cycloid - ds = da = 0%
0.2 Cycloid - ds = da = 10% 0.2
Cycloid - ds = da = 20%

0 0
0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025 0.03 0.035 0.04 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14 0.16

Fig. 11. Non-linear steady-state peak response of the main structure vs. the ground acceleration amplitude C, for circular and cycloidal
TMDs, with m0 1% (on the left) and m0 10% (on the right). Mass uncertainty ds da 0%, 10%, and 20%.

R / (S ag) for
0 = 1%
ag = 0.25g
0 = 2%
R / (S ag) for R / (S ag) for
4 0 = 5%
ag = 0.15g ag = 0.35g
0 = 10%
Xa,p / (S ag) (m/g)

0 = 20%
R / (S ag) for
ag = 0.05g

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
T (s)

Fig. 12. Linear TMD relative displacement spectra with no uncertainty (from the thinner to the thicker curve: m0 1%, 2%, 5%, 10%,
and 20%).

purely qualitative, since non-linearity and mass uncertainty are still neglected, but it predicts that TMDs
effectiveness might be signicantly impaired in high seismicity regions and for target periods in the range of
maximum spectral amplication, particularly when small mass ratios are used.
Still neglecting mass uncertainty, an example is given for m0 5% in Fig. 13, where peak pseudo-
acceleration (left) and peak angular deection (right) non-linear spectra are computed under various seismic
hazard levels for circular and cycloidal TMDs. As anticipated, non-linearity affects rigid structures much more
than exible structures.
Under these circumstances, the response indices Ap,norm and Am,norm introduced in Section 3.2 are more
conveniently modied by restricting the averaging to limited intervals of the spectrum, namely to either the
range of periods 0.150.5 s (rigid structures) or to the range 1.52.5 s (exible structures). The peak
response index is thus presented in Fig. 14, for m0 either 2% or 10% and for either rigid or exible structures.
Each chart compares the structural response using non-linear circular or cycloidal TMDs, for increasing
values of mass-uncertainty (on the horizontal axis) and under different seismic hazard levels (from the thinner
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 139

4 1.2
Circle - ag = 0.05g
3.5 Circle - ag = 0.05g
Cycloid - ag = 0.05g
1 Circle - ag = 0.15g
Cycloid - ag = 0.05g
3 Cycloid - ag = 0.15g
Circle - ag = 0.35g
0.8 Circle - ag = 0.25g
2.5 Cycloid - ag = 0.35g
Cycloid - ag = 0.25g
Ap / (S ag)

p /max
Circle - ag = 0.35g
2 0.6
Cycloid - ag = 0.35g


0 0
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
T (s) T (s)

Fig. 13. Non-linear TMD peak normalized pseudo-acceleration (left) and normalized peak angular deection (right) for different pga
m0 5% and no mass uncertainty considered.

1.1 1.1

1 1
Ap, norm
Ap, norm

0.9 0.9

Flexible structures
0.8 Rigid structures 0.8 0 = 2%
0 = 2%

0.7 0.7
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
d d

1.1 1.1
Circle Circle
Cycloid Cycloid

1 1

Rigid structures
Ap, norm

Ap, norm

0 = 10%
0.9 0.9

Flexible structures
0.8 0 = 10%

0.7 0.7
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
d d

Fig. 14. Peak normalized non-linear pseudo-acceleration indices for rigid structures (left) and exible structures (right) for circular and
cycloidal TMDs, as a function of mass uncertainty. Top pictures: m0 2%. Bottom pictures: m0 10% (from the thinner to the thicker
curve: ag 0.05, 0.15, 0.25, and 0.35 g).
140 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

to the thicker curve: ag 0.05, 0.15, 0.25, and 0.35 g). Unifying mass variability and amplitude-dependent
non-linearity, these plots capture the possible trade-offs between alternative rolling-pendulum MUTMDs for
the seismic case and justify the following considerations. For the lowest hazard level non-linearity is virtually
negligible both for rigid and exible structures and the circle and the cycloid are almost identical. As the
hazard level increases, rigid and exible structures must be distinguished. For rigid structures, non-linearity
rather than mass variation is the prime source of control loss and the cycloid is always the worst solution;
at least for m0 not considerably larger than 10%, therefore, a rolling-pendulum MUTMD results incompa-
tible with rigid structures in high seismicity areas. For exible structures, if a large mass ratio is adopted
both circular and cycloidal congurations are substantially equivalent to the linear case; if a small mass
ratio is used, the performance reduction due to non-linearity is somewhat comparable with the performance
reduction due to mass variations. Similar considerations hold for the mean index as well, here not reported for
brevitys sake.
In conclusion, the seismic performance of an MUTMD of the rolling-pendulum type depends on a number
of factors such as the expected mass variability, the seismic hazard, the chosen mass ratio, the structural period
and the adopted prole. As to the latter, no advantage is apparent in using cyloidal TMDs rather than circular

4. Example: the roof-garden MUTMD

In these conclusive pages, the superior exibility of MUTMDs with respect to traditional devices is
illustrated by means of an example, which will also offer the chance to extend the proposed robust procedure
to multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) structures and to briey touch on some technological issues useful in
practical design.
The application consists of an innovative roof-garden MUTMD proposed by the authors to reduce the
seismic response of a multi-storey building structure currently under completion in Siena, one of the most
beautiful medieval towns in Central Italy.
The building is part of the Porta siena Linear Building complex, a 40 000 m2 polyfunctional commercial
center raising in a strategic position on Siena hillside, meant as a xed course between the railway station
below and the old town center above.1 Due to such privileged location, strict architectural constraints were
requested to reduce the visual impact of the new construction, particularly roof-gardens as a means to
harmonize the complex in the hillside slope. From a structural viewpoint, though, roof-gardens may bring
huge masses atop buildings, thus inducing additional inertial forces in case of earthquakes.
Siena is classied in the Italian seismic hazard zone 2, corresponding to ag 0.25 g. For an in situ soil type
C category (S 1.25) and an importance factor gI 1.2, this results in a no-collapse limit state pga of 0.375 g.
Roof-gardens of the intensive kind were chosen, implying a soil mass of about 500 kg/m2, 5.8% of the total
mass of the building.
Involved in the structural design of the complex, the authors conceived the idea of turning the additional
mass of the roof-garden into a passive TMD, namely a MUTMD because of the unpredictability of the exact
amount of mass and its variability in time. Such a roof-garden MUTMD, although requiring some robust
design precautions and inevitably reducing performance with respect to a traditional device, would have the
advantage of combining into one tool two functions, the architectural and the structural ones.
A numerical simulation was conducted to test the roof-garden MUTMD on the West-wing building (the D
unit) of the complex. Although a traditional roof-garden was nally preferred for practical reasons (for
instance, the Italian Code does not explicitly recognize TMDs for seismic protection), this study is helpful in
showing how to possibly implement the idea and in demonstrating its advantages on an MDOF structure.
The D unit is a 6-storey, 3  5 bays, reinforced concrete building 25 m tall, on a 26 m  42 m rectangular
plan. A rendering view of the complex and an axonometric projection of the 3D FEM model for the D unit are
given in Fig. 15. The building is founded on a thick continuous concrete bed, partly resting on foundation
piles. The buttresses contrasting the 22 m tall retaining wall behind the building are separated from it but for
Reference kindly authorized by La Policentro S.p.A. and Policentro Progetti S.r.l., Agrate Brianza (MI), Italy, as the general planner
and the owner, and by Si.Me.Te. S.r.l. and Studio Siniscalco, Torino, Italy, as the structural designer.
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 141

Fig. 15. Roof-garden TMD in Portasiena Linear Buildingon the top: architectural rendering of the complex (kindly provided by
Policentro Progetti S.r.l.). On the left: FEM model of the D unit (kindly provided by Si.Me.Te. s.n.c. and Studio Siniscalco). On the right:
vertical cross-section of the roof-garden TMD.

the 2 lower oors of the basement, which are also partly enclosed by perimeter walls. The vertical structure is
made of r.c. columns, walls and staircase box walls, bearing the r.c. plates of the oors.
Due to the openings pattern of the fac- ades and to the interior distribution of partitions, large r.c. walls are
housed along the longitudinal axis of the building but not in the transverse axis, which results seismically
more vulnerable and is in fact the one the TMD is meant to control. Resulting negligible the contribution
from torsional modes, the transverse response of the 3D model is approximated by a simplied transverse
planar model.
The uncontrolled planar model consists of a 6-DOF cantilever thick beam (both bending and shear
exibilities accounted for) clamped at its base, with a varying inter-storey height (from bottom to top: 3, 3, 5,
5, 5, and 4 m) and a rectangular cross-section of constant thickness 0.4 m and varying length (from bottom to
top: 16, 16, 12, 8, 8, and 8 m). Permanent and variable masses are combined through coefcients from the
Italian Code (from bottom to top: 1360, 1410, 1600, 1600, 1570, and 1870 Mg). A 5% modal damping is
assigned to each mode. The three lower modes result to have natural frequencies 2.35, 9.29, and 18.9 Hz and
modal mass ratios 57.9%, 25.4%, and 9.3%.
142 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

In order for the roof-garden to work as a TMD, its mass must be evidently disconnected from the top-
storey. The simplest solution is to lay the planted soil onto a single additional oor resting on bearings coaxial
with the columns below. More complicated solutions may entail several soil containers on bearings, allowing
for a multiple TMD system, with increased effectiveness and robustness, but out of the scope of this study.
The crucial point remains the selection and the design of the appropriate kind of bearing. In this simulation,
rolling-pendulum bearings are adopted, consisting of a steel cylinder sandwiched between two identical
cylindrical steel cavities of the circular type. Dissipation is granted by horizontal viscous dampers, placed in
parallel with the rolling bearings and assumed as linear devices in this study for the sake of simplicity.
A possible technological implementation is schematized in the cross-section of Fig. 15. Columns are
connected on the top by a cast-in-place, low load-bearing capacity, thin oor, perforated by proper trapdoors
to allow periodic inspection and/or substitution of the bearings, which are placed on the columns vertical axes.
The additional oor supporting the planted soil is supposed to be built on pre-cast beams and panels, so as to
avoid the need for formworks underneath, and completed with a thin concrete slab. The viscous dampers
connecting the two oors are housed at both sides of the bearing in the transverse direction.
Assuming for the bearing system the non-linear behavior described by Eqs. (1) and (2) for the circular
rolling prole, the controlled structural model is obtained by simply appending the non-linear roof-garden
TMD to the top oor of the 6-DOF cantilever model and reducing the sixth storey mass to 550 000 kg only.
The mass of the TMD is uncertain because of possible variations of the amount of soil, of the soil-moisture
content, of the vegetation growth, of any masses temporarily on the garden. This uncertainty can be described
by upper and lower bounds, thus bypassing complicated probability formulations. The lower bound is
assumed as 50% of the 500 kg/m2 nominal value, i.e. 250 kg/m2. The upper bound as 150% of the nominal
value, i.e. 750 kg/m2, plus 240 kg/m2 for the variable masses possibly present (according to the Italian Code)
on the garden during an intense seismic event. Including 650 kg/m2 for the structural mass of the oor, the
total mass is bounded by 900 and 1640 kg/m2, so a robust design can be applied based on the uncertainty
description of Eq. (7) with m0 1270 kg/m2  26 m  42 m 1 386 840 kg (17.1% of the total mass) and
d 30%.
All the ingredients being set, an extension to MDOF structures of the (linear) worst-case HN robust design
proposed in Section 2.2 is applied searching for the optimum frequency and damping ratios as those
minimizing the worst-case peak modulus of the transfer function H d max x g from the ground acceleration to the
maximum interstorey drift ratio, this being the interstorey displacement divided by the interstorey height, here
taken as the objective function since critical for both structural and non-structural reasons.
A comparison between the worst-case uncontrolled and controlled linearized transfer functions under the
30% mass uncertainty is plotted in Fig. 16(a). The optimum design corresponds to a nominal frequency ratio
ra0 0.390 and a nominal damping ratio za0 0.465, or equivalently to a circular frequency oa0 7.64 rad/s
and to a total damping coefcient ca 9.8522 106 N s/m. For the selected rolling-pendulum conguration of
two circular cylinders facing each other, such frequency requires a radius of 13.4 cm for the two steel cavities
once the rod section diameter is xed equal to 10 cm. The subsequent maximum horizontal relative
displacement of the TMD allowed by this conguration is 9.3 cm. A total number of 28 such bearings are
required to support the upper oor. On the other hand, the required total damping ca is distributed among 28
commercial linear dampers with a damping coefcient cai 0.3519 kN s/mm.
With and without such TMD mounted atop, the MDOF planar model is evaluated under the set of seven
natural recordings used in previous sections for a pga of 0.375 g. The worst-case time-history of the maximum
interstorey drift ratio, occurring at the upper storey under the accelerogram no 2, is reported in Fig. 16(b) for
both uncontrolled and controlled cases.
The satisfactory performance of the MUTMD is conrmed by Table 1, which compares relevant structural
responses for the uncontrolled and controlled cases, obtained averaging over the set of seven accelerograms
either the peak or the mean time-history responses. The maximum interstorey drift ratio dmax (the selected
objective function) drastically drops to less than 53% and 44% for the controlled case, respectively, in peak
and mean terms. Important reductions are also observed for the maximum relative displacement xs;max , the
maximum absolute acceleration x^ s;max and the base shear force Tb. Like in Section 3, the reduction of the mean
response appears superior to the reduction of the peak response. Relevantly, the average peak relative
displacement xa of the roof-garden TMD is only 5.7 cm, corresponding to an oscillation angle of less than 201,
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 143

0.5% 0.5
Uncontrolled 0.4 Uncontrolled
Controlled Controlled
0.4% 0.3
0.3% 0.1
|Hdmax xg|

dmax (%)
0.2% -0.1
0.1% -0.3
0 -0.5
0 2.5 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
f (Hz) t (s)

Fig. 16. Controlled and uncontrolled responses for the MDOF structure equipped with the roof-garden TTMD: (a) worst-case transfer
functions from the ground acceleration to the maximum interstorey drift ratio; (b) time-histories for the maximum interstorey drift ratio
under the accelerogram no 2.

Table 1
Peak and mean seismic responses for the uncontrolled and the controlled cases

Uncontrolled Controlled

Peak values Mean values Peak values Mean values

dmax (%) 0.381 0.132 0.201 0.058

xs,max (cm) 5.54 1.73 3.07 0.64
x^ s;max (m/s2) 12.46 4.61 9.56 2.96
Tb (MN) 56.1 34.6 38.4 20.0
xa (cm) 5.68 3.62
x_ a (cm/s) 64.7 32.3
y (1) 19.8 12.4

indicating that the large mass ratio used in this application results in limited non-linearities. Finally, the
maximum peak relative displacement among the seven accelerograms is 8.0 cm, which is still less than the
available 9.3 cm stroke, whilst the largest relative velocity is 78.2 cm/s, corresponding to a maximum ultimate
limit state force in each damper equal to 275 kN.
To explain so encouraging results, it should be recalled that the TMDs effective mass ratio, being the
damper tuned to only the rst modal mass and placed atop the building where the rst modal shape is
maximum, is much larger than the ratio between TMDs mass and total structural mass, computed above as
an already remarkable 17.1%. Applying the classic formulas by Warburton [26], an incredibly high 76.3% is
actually obtained for the equivalent effective mass ratio, emphasizing that roof-gardens are a very promising
source of mass, although uncertain, for control purposes.

5. Conclusions

In this paper, the question is posed whether MUTMDs can retain enough performance to compete with
constant mass TMDs in mitigating seismic effects in building structures.
144 E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147

Avoiding a probabilistic characterization of the uncertainty by recurring to a simple worst-case

perturbation approach, and assuming an HN linear robust synthesis as a legitimate optimization criterion
for seismic control purposes as well, the mass-uncertain rolling-pendulum TMD is introduced and its worst-
case performance evaluated under a variety of design scenarios, depending on the chosen mass ratio, the
expected and the actual uncertainty levels, the excitation type and intensity, the type of rolling prole.
Based on this analysis, the following partial conclusions can be drawn. (1) As long as linear models are used,
TMDs show a good robustness to mass variations, intrinsically due to their period being mass-independent,
which can be still improved though a proper robust design. MUTMD are thus very effective against harmonic
inputs, less effective against ground motion. (2) As a non-linear model is adopted and harmonic inputs are
addressed, a trade-off exists between the circular and the cycloidal congurations, the former being more
robust at large oscillations (but less accurate at small ones), the latter preferable at small oscillations thanks to
its tautochronic property (but unstable at large ones). In any case, for increasing input amplitudes both types
undergo a progressive effectiveness loss, until providing no control at all. (3) As the seismic response is
evaluated using non-linear models, a crucial issue becomes the TMDs displacement demand which may
exceed displacement capacity depending on the period of the target structural mode and on the seismic hazard
level. (4) In any case, whatever the design scenario, mass-uncertainty is not an insuperable barrier, and
combining a proper robust design with the adoption of a sufciently large mass ratio helps keeping small its
detrimental effects. An example of an innovative roof-garden TTMD is presented which demonstrate the
feasibility and the effectiveness of the proposed MUTMD.
In conclusion, this paper shows that, if properly designed, MUTMDs represent a viable alternative to
traditional TMDs, compensating for a certain effectiveness reduction with the advantage of exibility and
multitasking. In this perspective, a roof-garden MUTMD appears a promising tool for combining into one
single device the two functions of structural and environmental protection.


This work is part of a research project nanced by ReLUIS (the Italian National Network of University
Laboratories of Earthquake Engineering), which is gratefully acknowledged.

Appendix A. Lagranges equations for a rolling-pendulum TMD

Having selected the two generalized coordinates as xs and y, the non-linear model for a rolling-pendulum
TMD can be derived writing the Lagranges Equation
d qT qT qV
 Qi (15)
dt qq_ i qqi qqi
for each coordinate qi, being T the kinetic energy, V the potential energy and dWnc SQidqi the work done by
the non-conservative forces over any admissible variation dq.
Expressing the TMDs relative displacement as a function of y by xa xa(y) and za za(y) and denoting the
_ _
ground motion as xg, then the absolute displacement xs of the main structure and the absolute displacement xa
and za of the TMD are given by
_ _ _
xs xg xs ; xa xg xs xa ; za z a
and the corresponding absolute velocities by
x_ s x_ g x_ s ;
_ _
x_ a x_ g x_ s x0a y; _
z_ a z0a y,

where x0a dxa =dy and z0a dza =dy.

Computation of T, V and dW nc is straightforward:
02 _ 2 _
T fms ma x_ g x_ s 2 ma x02 _ g x_ s x0a yg=2,
a za y 2x

V ks x2s =2 ma gza ; dW nc cs x_ s dxs  ca x02 _

a ydy Qxs dxs  Qy dy.
E. Matta, A. De Stefano / Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing 23 (2009) 127147 145

The terms in Eqs. (15) are then derived as

qT=qxs 0; _
qT=qx_ s ms ma x_ g x_ s ma x0a y,
dqT=qx_ s =dt ms ma x g x s ma x00a y_ ma x00a y;
qV =qxs ks xs ; Qxs cs x_ s ,

qT=qy ma x0a x00a z0a z00a y_ x_ g x_ s x00a y,
dqT=qy=dt ma 2x0a x00a 2z0a z00a y_ x02 02 _
g x s x0a x_ g x_ s x00a y,
a za y x

qV =qy ma gz0a ; Qy ca x02 _


and eventually the equations of motion for a generic path become

ms x g x s cs x_ s ks xs ma x g x s x0a y x00a y_ 0, (16)

02 0 00 _ 2 02 _
ma x g x s x0a x02 0 00 0
a za y xa xa za z y  ca xa y ma gza 0. (17)
Recalling that for the circle
xa xa y R sin y; x0a dxa =dy R cos y; x00a dx0a =dy R sin y,
za za y R1  cos y; z0a dza =dy R sin y; z00a dz0a =dy R cos y,
and for the cycloid
xa xa y Rsin 2y 2y=4; x0a dxa =dy R1 cos 2y=2; x00a dx0a =dy R sin 2y,
za za y R1  cos 2y=4 z0a dza =dy R sin 2y=2; z00a dz0a =dy R cos 2y,
it appears possible to specialize Eqs. (16) and (17) for the circle as
ms x g x s cs x_ s ks xs ma x g x s R cos yy  R sin yy_ 0,

ca Rcos2 yy_ ma g sin y 0

ma x g x s cos y Ry
and for the cycloid as
 R sin 2yy_ 2  0,
ms x g x s cs x_ s ks xs ma x g x s R1 cos 2yy=2
_ ma g sin 2y 0.
ma x g x s 1 cos 2y R1 cos 2yy  R sin 2yy_  ca R1 cos 2y2 y=2
The model is completed by a non-linear (gap type) elastic rotational spring of stiffness ky located at the end of
the path, activated only for |y|4ymax and responsible for the torque
0; jyjpymax ;
ky jyj  ymax sgn y; jyj4ymax :


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