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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4528168, 13 pages
Research Article

Exploring New Boundaries to Mitigate Structural Vibrations of Bridges in Seismic Regions: A Smart Passive Strategy

1Department of Engineering, University of Benevento “Sannio,” 82100 Benevento, Italy
2Construction Technologies Institute, National Research Council (CNR), San Giuliano Milanese, 20098 Milan, Italy
3Department of Engineering, University of Napoli “Parthenope,” 80143 Naples, Italy
4Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A., Regional Direction of Bologna, 40129 Bologna, Italy

Received 2 January 2016; Revised 7 April 2016; Accepted 20 April 2016

Academic Editor: Athanasios Chasalevris

Copyright © 2016 Giuseppe Maddaloni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The combined use of two emerging technologies in the field of seismic engineering is investigated. The first is a semiactive control, to reduce smartly the effects induced by earthquakes on structures. The second is the Seismic Early Warning System which allows an estimate of the Peak Ground Accelerations of an incoming earthquake. This paper proposes the exploitation of this information in the framework of a semiactive control strategy based on the use of magnetorheological (MR) dampers. The main idea consists of changing the MR dampers’ behaviour by the PGA estimated by the SEWS, to obtain the optimal seismic response of the structure. The control algorithm needed to drive the variable devices, according to the PGA estimate, is the core issue of the proposed strategy. It has been found that different characteristics of earthquakes that occur at different sites play a significant role in the definition of a control algorithm. Therefore, a design procedure for “regional” control algorithms has been performed. It is based on the results of several nonlinear dynamic simulations performed using natural earthquakes and on the use of a multicriteria decision-making procedure. The effectiveness of the proposed control strategy has been verified with reference to a highway bridge and to two specific worldwide seismic regions.