text-only page produced automatically by Usablenet Assistive Skip all navigation and go to page content Skip top navigation and go to directorate navigation Skip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation
design element
Search Awards
Recent Awards
Presidential and Honorary Awards
About Awards
Grant Policy Manual
Grant General Conditions
Cooperative Agreement Conditions
Special Conditions
Federal Demonstration Partnership
Policy Office Website

Award Abstract #1101105

Collaborative Research: An Innovative Gap Damper to Control Seismic Isolator Displacements in Extreme Earthquakes

Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
divider line
Initial Amendment Date: March 25, 2011
divider line
Latest Amendment Date: March 25, 2011
divider line
Award Number: 1101105
divider line
Award Instrument: Standard Grant
divider line
Program Manager: Y. Grace Hsuan
CMMI Div Of Civil, Mechanical, & Manufact Inn
ENG Directorate For Engineering
divider line
Start Date: July 1, 2011
divider line
End Date: June 30, 2015 (Estimated)
divider line
Awarded Amount to Date: $194,994.00
divider line
Investigator(s): Keri Ryan Keri.Ryan@unr.edu (Principal Investigator)
divider line
Sponsor: Board of Regents, NSHE, obo University of Nevada, Reno
1664 North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557-0001 (775)784-4040
divider line
NSF Program(s): Structural and Architectural E,
divider line
Program Reference Code(s): 036E, 039E, 040E, 043E, 1576, 9102, 9150
divider line
Program Element Code(s): 1637, 7396


This research project will study the use of a special gap damper that is designed to limit the excessive deformation without causing impact and the associated high frequency motions and accelerations. In the design of a seismic base isolation system for a building, an isolator must be allowed to deform a significant amount. At the same time, this deformation must be controlled to avoid structural damage due to its reaching the displacement limit in a rare but possible strong ground motion. The project involves advanced analytical and numerical simulation studies to determine the optimal gap damper characteristics for desired performance such as the size of gap element, the ratio of pre- and post-gap isolation system stiffness, and the energy dissipation demand to reduce displacements without inducing large accelerations in the building. Experimental studies on a standalone damper will be conducted in the Structural Research Laboratory at Auburn University to characterize the energy dissipation properties of the damper. Shaking table studies at the Large Scale Structures Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno will validate the effectiveness of the proposed gap damper scheme. This study will provide an experimentally and analytically validated framework leading to reliable performance-based isolator design of buildings under different seismic scenarios.

This research project is expected to lead to better designs of base isolation systems that are often used in critical or essential facilities such as hospitals, emergency operation centers, fire stations, and other important buildings. The research results will be broadly disseminated for practical implementation to practitioners through publication in technical journals, presentations in professional conferences and the website created for the project. The experimental data will be archived on the George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation data repository for easy accessibility by other researchers in the earthquake engineering community. The project will provide advanced training to graduate and undergraduate students through their involvement in project research activities. To enhance the awareness and importance of earthquake engineering, a ?Reconnaissance Education Program" will be established with participation of several upper level undergraduate students with representation from underrepresented groups in an earthquake reconnaissance mission after the next major earthquake. This participation is expected to provide a life-changing experience for the students and to motivate them for long-term commitment to earthquake engineering.


Note:  When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

Zargar, H., Ryan, K. L., and Marshall, J. D.. "Feasibility study of a gap damper to control seismic isolator displacements in extreme earthquakes," Structural Control and Health Monitoring, v.10, 2012, p. 1159-1175. 

Zargar, H., Ryan, K.L., Marshall, J.D.. "Feasibility study of a gap damper to control seismic isolator displacements in extreme earthquakes," Structural Control and Health Monitoring, v.20, 2013, p. 1159.

Rawlinson, T. A., Marshall, J. D., Ryan, K. L., and Zargar, H.. "Development and experimental evaluation of a passive gap damper device to prevent pounding in base-isolated structures," Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, v.44, 2015. 


Hamed Zargar, Keri L. Ryan, Taylor Rawlinson, Justin D. Marshall. "Exploring the Gap Damper Concept to Control Seismic Isolation Displacement Demands", 07/01/2011-06/30/2012,  2012, "Proc., 15th World Conference in Earthquake Engineering".


Please report errors in award information by writing to: awardsearch@nsf.gov.



Print this page
Back to Top of page
Research.gov  |  USA.gov  |  National Science Board  |  Recovery Act  |  Budget and Performance  |  Annual Financial Report
Web Policies and Important Links  |  Privacy  |  FOIA  |  NO FEAR Act  |  Inspector General  |  Webmaster Contact  |  Site Map
National Science Foundation Logo
The National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia 22230, USA
Tel: (703) 292-5111, FIRS: (800) 877-8339 | TDD: (800) 281-8749
  Text Only Version