Application of High-Strain-Rate Superplastic Zn-Al Alloy to Seismic Dampers and its Optimised Shape Design
As a new damping material, the authors first developed a Zn-22wt.%-Al eutectoid alloy with ultra-fine grains exhibiting superplasticity at room temperature by means of thermomechanical controlling processes (TMCPs). The Zn-Al alloy has a few advantages such as low work-hardening rate and high ductility over a conventional seismic damping material, for instance, a low-yield-point steel. In addition, Zn-Al alloys are environment-conscious because of no harmful metal like Pb. However, when Zn-Al alloys are subjected to plastic deformation, since its work hardening is small, plastic deformation proceeds locally so that required absorption energy cannot be sufficiently obtained, and local fracture and local deformation instability can take place easily, which is the intrinsic characteristic of superplastic materials. Therefore we attempted to develop a shear panel type, a brace type damper for tall buildings and a bending type damper for Japanese wooden houses using FEM analysis in order to minimize localized strain and local deformation and to determine the optimum shape for this Zn-Al superplastic seismic damper. As a result, an ecological and high-energy absorption seismic dampers, so-called “maintenance-free seismic damper,” was successfully developed.
A. Kushibe et al., "Application of High-Strain-Rate Superplastic Zn-Al Alloy to Seismic Dampers and its Optimised Shape Design", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 551-552, pp. 583-590, 2007