The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 071 [Completed (IDEA)]

Field Implementation of Tuned Dampers for Suppression of Bridge Stay Cable Vibrations
[ NCHRP 20-30 (NCHRP-IDEA) ]

  Project Data
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Inam Jawed

This project was a follow-on activity for an earlier IDEA project (NCHRP-50) to demonstrate the effectiveness of tuned mass dampers (TMD) in minimizing stay cable vibrations in a full-scale field trial on an actual highway bridge. Several visco-elastic materials and model configurations were investigated to identify models that could be considered for full-scale prototype adaptation. Simultaneous to experimenting with various models, analytical investigations were conducted to calculate required properties and dimensions of the full-scale versions of the models. The analytical evaluation identified a problem in adapting the scaled models to full-scale sizes due to low frequency vibrations of the actual bridge stay cables. This problem was addressed by using a hybrid of impact and tuned damper. Laboratory tests, conducted on model cables using two types of tuned impact dampers (TID), showed the TID to be more effective than the TMD. The TID was also found to be effective at low frequencies. Using the evaluation results, a full-scale refined TID system was designed and fabricated. The prototype system was installed on experimental basis on the Talmadge Bridge in Savannah, Georgia. The field test results confirmed the efficiency and applicability of the TID system for increasing the cable apparent damping ratios and suppression of excessive vibrations. A major stay cable manufacturer, the FHWA’s HNTB pooled fund study team, and the state of Alabama have expressed strong interest in advancing the commercial development of this technology.  The final report is available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS # PB2003-1028569).


The final report for this IDEA project can be found at:

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