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Tuned mass damper

Tuned mass dampers are typically huge concrete blocks mounted in skyscrapers and moved in opposition to the resonant frequency of the structure, by means of springs or gravity.

Table of contents
1 Earthquakes
2 Wind
3 Physics
4 Examples of buildings that have dampers
5 External link


The seismic waves caused by an earthquake will cause tall buildings to sway and oscillate in various ways depending on the frequency and direction of ground motion, as well as the height and construction of the building. When the seismic motion causes harmonic oscillation in the frame of the building, where sections of the building are moving in opposing directions, it can result in structural failure.


The force of wind against tall, lightweight buildings can cause the top of skyscrapers to move. This motion can be be in the form or swaying or twisting, and can cause the upper floors of such buildings to move over a meter. Certain angles of wind and aerodynamic properties of a building can accentuate the movement and cause motion sickness in people.


Tuned mass dampers can stabilize the heights of tall buildings against violent motion. The presence of a tuned mass forces a comparitavely lightweight building structure to overcome the inertia of a giant concrete block placed in such a way that the block only begins to move in one direction just as the building begins to move in the other, thus dampening the building's oscillation.

Examples of buildings that have dampers

External link

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