Building vibration damper


Vibration control for high-rise structures using a semi-active tuned liquid column damper


Key Info

Basic Information

01.12.2018 to 30.11.2021
Industrial Systems



Sebastian Stemmler

Managing Chief Engineer, Head of Industrial Systems and Production Systems


+49 241 80-27479




The use of damping systems is essential to ensure the dynamic stability of structures and to improve their structural durability. For architects as well as operators of structures, the search for a suitable damper system and especially the space requirements play a decisive role. Semi-active tuned liquid column dampers, calles S-TLCD, have a great advantage here due to their high flexibility compared to mechanical dampers, as the horizontal section of the liquid tank can be adapted to any complex shape. In addition, active manipulation of the damper parameters is possible, allowing the damper to be adapted to different system dynamics.


Project Goals and Methods

Sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

The aim of the project is to develop an S-TLCD in a laboratory environment and then to implement and validate it on a real scale test bench. Based on the concept of an S-TLCD already developed at RWTH Aachen University for the cancellation of one-dimensional excitation vibrations, the S-TLCD will be extended to compensate for real vibration scenarios. The investigation relates in particular to slender structures, such as wind turbines or high-rise buildings. Accordingly, the implementation of the damper system is carried out on an industrial test chimney of the Institute of Steel Construction, caled STB at RWTH Aachen University. To compensate for the imposed, highly dynamic vibrations, the application of model-based control approaches is being researched. On the one hand, process knowledge in the form of a model is absolutely necessary for these approaches; on the other hand, it is possible to predict future system behaviour and to explicitly take into account boundary and secondary conditions.


Innovations and Perspectives

Analogous to automotive shock absorbers, the damping system can efficiently minimize vibration energy. The high-rise building in Taipei and the Berlin TV tower already have damping systems consisting of a pendulum mass. However, changes in the building parameters as well as loading situations in the course of the operating time cause a loss of efficiency in these passive damping systems. The S-TLCD can react to these changes by adjusting its parameters independently. As a result, the S-TLCD achieves significantly higher stability and efficiency compared to conventional damping approaches.

Project partner