Alternative solutions for supplemental energy dissipation in bridges

T. N. Salonikios, G. Kolotsios, A. J. Kappos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A key aspect of the seismic performance of bridges is the energy dissipation mechanism. The most usual mechanisms are the formation of plastic hinges in the piers, seismic isolation, and the addition of supplemental damping devices (such as hydraulic or hysteretic dampers). The present study assesses the feasibility of an energy dissipation device that has not been used in bridges before, consisting of special steel links installed at the abutments. First, the behaviour of these devices is evaluated, and an analytical (finite element) model is developed, informed by test results. Then the response of an actual railway bridge to a number of input motions is studied; in one case the bridge is equipped with hydraulic dampers and in the second with the proposed steel links. It is found that the energy dissipation and the performance of the bridge are similar in both cases, which is a first indication that the proposed system, which has a lower cost than hydraulic dampers, is worth exploring further as an alternative option for providing supplemental energy dissipation in bridges.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)399-422
Number of pages24
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Bridge isolation
  • Energy dissipation
  • Hysteretic damping
  • Passive devices


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