Energy induced by minor earthquake and micro vibration cannot be dissipated by traditional buckling-restrained braces (BRBs). To solve this problem, a new type of hybrid passive control device, named as VE-BRB, which is configured by a BRB with high-damping viscoelastic (VE) layers, is developed and studied. Theoretical analysis, performance tests, numerical simulation and case analysis are conducted to study the seismic behavior of VE-BRBs. The results indicate that the combination of hysteretic and damping devices lead to a multi-phased nature and good performance. VE-BRB's working state can be divided into three phases: before yielding of the steel core, VE layers provide sufficient damping ratio to mitigate minor vibrations; after yielding of the steel core, the steel's hysteretic deformations provide supplemental dissipative capacity for structures; after rupture of the steel core, VE layers are still able to work normally and provide multiple security assurance for structures. The simulation results agreed well with the experimental results, validating the finite element analysis method, constitutive models and the identified parameters. The comparison of the time history analysis on a 6-story frame with VE-BRBs and BRBs verified the advantages of VE-BRB for seismic protection of structures compared with traditional BRB. In general, VE-BRB had the potential to provide better control effect on structural displacement and shear in all stages than BRB as expected.
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