Silviu Alexandru Constantinescu and Ionuț Radu Răcănel
This paper presents a new type of seismic isolator that uses the principle of electromagnetic attraction and repulsion, to control the friction force between two electromagnets during earthquakes. The two electromagnets are used in conjunction with a secondary high friction dissipating and damping mechanism composed from a 10mm thick neoprene ring layer and two steel surfaces coated with Si3N4 that are used to dissipate the kinetic energy in the bridge deck at some maximum ground accelerations. The isolator utilizes tri-axial accelerometers embedded in the abutments, high current rechargeable batteries and an automated controlling unit. The presented isolator was developed specifically for a concrete bridge deck with a span of 36 meters and simple supported on two abutments, using time history electromagnetic and structural analyses. The paper presents the advantages of using this active seismic isolation system, compared to classical passive devices and the important results obtained in terms of decreasing internal forces on the substructure elements cross sections together with the reduction of relative displacements between the two electromagnets.