What Does Dampening Mean In Construction?

What Does Dampening Mean In Construction?

What Does Dampening Mean In Construction?

Dampening is an essential technique used in construction to reduce the impact of swaying on large, tall structures or bridges, particularly in the case of earthquakes.

The application of dampening is achieved through various means, including large pendulum-type components, massive steel or concrete masses and synthetic products.

These devices work in the opposite direction of earthquake forces on the structure to counteract and stabilize the initial movement caused by external forces.

When an external force impacts a structure, it causes the structure to move, pushing or lifting or compressing it. This movement takes the structure beyond its position of rest or equilibrium.

If the structure does not yield or fail, it moves back to its original position. However, if it fails to return to its original position, there has been a compromise within the structure. This compromise may not result in a total failure of the structure, but it can cause permanent yield and damage.

Dampening is a process of limiting the initial movement to reduce the possibility of failure or permanent yield within the structure. The use of dampening also shortens the period of oscillations that are required to allow the structure to reach its equilibrium or resting position.

By shortening the period of swaying or oscillations, the potential for structural failures and damage is minimized.

The most common methods of dampening include using a tuned mass damper (TMD) or a seismic isolation system. TMD is a mechanical device consisting of a large pendulum mounted on a building’s roof or within its structure, and it counteracts the building’s movements.

The seismic isolation system involves the use of special bearings to isolate the building’s foundation from the ground motion.

In conclusion, dampening is a vital technique used in construction to counteract the swaying of large, tall structures or bridges, particularly in areas prone to earthquakes. The use of dampening methods reduces the potential for structural failures and damage and ensures the long-term stability of the structure.

How Does Dampening Work In Construction?

In construction, dampening is employed to absorb and disperse vibrational energy transmitted to structural members by wind or earthquakes.

The use of vibration dampers is intended to mitigate harmful deflections, forces, and accelerations, allowing the structure to withstand intense input energy.

Visco-elastic dampers are strategically placed within building structures to manage floor vibrations and building displacement, while viscous dampers are employed to dampen relative motion between outriggers linked to the central core and perimeter structure.


These measures help maintain structural integrity and ensure the safety of occupants during extreme events.

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