Novel concepts for the protection of man-made structures
from natural and artificial vibrations

by Panagiotis Koutsogiannakis

Many centers of human activity are located on geologically active areas, where the probability of a significant natural disaster is high. For this reason, engineers are constantly trying to create new technologies to protect man-made structures and consequently human lives from earthquakes. Today, many technologies exist for the mitigation of the effects of an earthquake. Isolation bearings are used to effectively isolate a building from the vibrating ground, providing a layer of protection between the foundation and the ground.

Recent advances in the field of metamaterials promise to provide a more flexible alternative approach. Metamaterials can be designed to match exactly the needs of a specific application. In the field of seismic engineering, metamaterials can be used to significantly reduce or even completely block the most devastating components of the seismic waves. Also, these specialized materials can be used to protect expensive equipment and isolate sensitive components from external disturbances.

In this context, the aim of my work to discover innovative mechanical concepts that will lead to efficient isolation. The studied concept designs are simple enough that can be incorporated in the framework of metamaterials as basic building blocks. These structures are composed by a combination of elastic and rigid elements that work together to create unexpected behaviors under oscillatory excitation. One example of these structures is shown in the figure. Such phenomena cannot be studied with analytical tools and for this reason an in-house computational model is created that can simulate their behavior. The numerical routines use state-of-the-art methods that provide the accuracy needed for engineering and scientific tasks.

Research finding have been submitted at INSPIRE’s Special Session in ICONHIC 2021 and at ICTAM 2020+1.

Figure 1: Example of studied structures.

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