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I. Structural Dynamics
A. Introduction
Structural dynamics is the analysis of structural behavior where both the loading applied to the structure and the resulting structural response are functions of time. The physical object may be treated as either a rigid or deformable body.
In the design of structures and structural frames, the dynamic response involving deformations, rather than rigid body motion, are of primary concern. Dynamic response involving deformations is usually oscillatory in nature, where the structure oscillates about a stable equilibrium state.
Structural dynamic analysis can be broken down into a 4part process, essentially identical to that for a static analysis. The steps are:

Simplify the “real” structure and loading into models 

Determine the equations describing motion of the system. One method is to place 

structure model in dynamic equilibrium to formulate equations of motion Solve equations of motion to determine structural response 

Evaluate the response to determine if within acceptable parameters 



Dynamic response must consider: 
1. Inertia forces
2. Elastic and inelastic restoring forces (hysteretic behavior)
3. Damping forces
4. External input potentially coupling with structure
In reality, all systems are continuous in nature. Modeling continuous systems results in partial differential equations (PDEs)
1. PDDs are functions of both space (displacements) and time
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2. Model corresponds to infinite degrees of freedom.
Problem: Difficult to solve PDEs
Degree of Freedom (DOF) definition: Variable needed to fully describe structural
behavior under any load at any point in time.
1. Number of DOFs = Number of Variables needed for description = Number of Differential Equations needed
In general, make simplifying assumptions to reduce number of degrees of freedom.
Examples:
1. Model a continuous system as a system with discrete point masses.
2. Assume a vibration shape, so that the only unknown is the amplitude of vibration
A. Inertia Forces
From Newton’s second law of motion, the resultant of all applied forces in a system, Q(t),
is equal to the rate of change of momentum:
dd
dt
Qt ( )
dt
m
u
t
d
m
dt
v
t
(1)
where u(t) describes the displacement as a function of time and v(t) describes the velocity as a
function of time. Note that the entire moving body is experiencing the same velocity – true for
particles.
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Assuming is that the mass of the system does not vary, which is typical of most civil and
mechanical systems, then the above can be expressed as:
( )
Qt
m
d
dt
v
t
m
a
t
(2)
where a(t) is the acceleration as a function of time. To simplify, displacement, velocity, and
acceleration variables will be assumed to be functions of time and simply written as u, v, and a
respectively. Then using overdots to signify differentiation:
or
Q (t ) mu
(3)
Q ()t mx
0
(4)
Note that the quantity mu has units of force. So we define an inertia force,
f
I
, as having
a magnitude equal to the product of mass times acceleration:
f mu
I
Then we can view Equation (4) as an equation of equilibrium. This principle, known as
d’Alember’s Principle, converts the problem of dynamic response to an equivalent static problem
involving equilibrium of forces. So all the procedures we learned to solve statics problems apply.
Keep in mind that the inertia force is a fictitious force! It is used to capture the net effect
of all real forces acting upon the system.
B. Restoring or Spring Forces An elastic body undergoing deformation under the action of external forces (whether
static or dynamic) sets up internal forces within the system to resist the deformation (and so
must act in opposition to the
motion). These restoring forces,
or spring forces, can be linear or
nonlinear in nature. If the
restoring forces can be
assumed to be linear, then the
simplest representation of an
element is through the use of
linear springs, where the spring
stiffness constant is a property of the element material and geometric properties.
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Take the simple translational spring in Figure 1a. If the forcedeformation relationship
can be represented as in Figure 1b, then the behavior of the spring is linear for small
deformations with the slope of the line giving the spring constant. The corresponding equation
relating the force in the spring to the deformation is:
ku
(6)
Spring elements only generate force if the spring is deformed. If both ends of the spring
moved the same amount, then no restoring forces would be generated. As such, spring forces
are proportional to the relative motion of the spring ends.
Since the spring in the previous
example is supported by an unmoving wall, then the spring elongation is exactly the motion of
the degree of freedom u.
Now suppose you know that the wall was also moving as a function of time and that its
motion was given by x _{g} (t). Again for simplicity we will use the notation x _{g}_{,} , where the variation
with time is implied. Then the relative deformation of the spring at any point in time would be
given by:
u
rel
ux
g
So a more general expression for spring forces is:
(7)
A similar definition of spring force can be used to represent the restoring force of a
structural element. For example, consider the cantilever beam shown in Figure 2 with a vertical
load applied at the end. This load condition will cause a deflection downward at the tip given by:
u
3
PL
_{}
3 EI
(9)
If you rearrange the terms, then you can get an
expression for the force required to induce a specified
deformation, which is the same form as the equation
for the spring. The resulting expression is:
P
3
EI
3
L
uku
cant
(10)
By making an analogy to the spring equation then tells the equivalent stiffness of a
cantilever beam to a force at its tip is:
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k
cant
^{}
3
EI
3
L
(11)
Through a similar process, equivalent stiffness values can be found for simply supported beams,
columns in a frame structure, etc… Keep in mind that the resistance (and therefore the stiffness)
provided by the element is depends on where the load is applied and where the deflection is
measured.
C. Damping Forces Damping forces are nonconservative forces that dissipate energy from a system. Energy
loss occurs in real systems through a variety of mechanisms such as friction, air resistance, and
material behavior (internal friction). One example of a physical device that produces damping
forces is the shock absorber in an automobile.
In civil structures, energy may be loss through friction at bolted connections, when slip
occurs between bolts and the framing members. Energy is also lost through the opening and
closing of cracks in concrete structures. As such, actual damping forces are highly complex and
determination is difficult, unlike for stiffness and mass properties.
Typically, damping forces in a structure are very small compared with the inertia and
stiffness forces. However, they cannot be neglected as otherwise the motion in a system would
never stop (perpetual motion). The easiest mathematical model for damping forces is to create
a force proportional to the velocity. To visualize the effect, imagine pushing through a fluid or a
gas – the faster you try to move the more resistance the fluid/gas provides. A resisting force of
this nature is called viscous damping force and is given by:
f
D
cu
(12)
where the constant c is the damping coefficient.
motion.
These forces are always in opposition to the
The viscous damping mechanism is schematically
represented by a dashpot, as shown in Figure 3. This element
provides damping resistance in both directions, opposing the
motion of the end. Keep in mind that we are using this
element to represent all damping mechanisms in the system –
and these may or may not be viscous in nature. However, as
due to the complexity of damping, our lack of knowledge of all damping mechanisms present,
and lack of more precise analytical models for damping, this simple representation is used in
practice.
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Just as with the spring elements, damping forces are only generated force if there is
relative motion through the dashpot. If both ends of the dashpot moved with the same velocity,
then no damping forces would be generated. As such, viscous damping forces are proportional
to the relative motion of the damper ends.
So suppose you know that the wall was also moving as a function of time and that its
motion was given by x _{g}_{,} , where the variation with time is implied. Then the relative deformation
of the spring at any point in time would be given by:
u
rel
ux
g
(13)
Taking the first derivative, we can find the relative velocity through the dashpot:
u
rel
ux
g
So a more general expression for spring forces is:
(14)
III.
Formulation of Equation of Motion
A. SingleDegreeofFreedom System – Dynamic Equilibrium
Very similar to the strict application of Newton’s Second Law, but the inertia force is added to
the freebody diagram. The problem is then reduced essentially to one of statics.
To get the Equation of Motion (EoM):
1. Define what parameter you will be using as your degree of freedom, both it’s reference point and what direction you are taking as positive
2. Imagine that the mass is moving in the positive direction and determine the restoring and damping forces acting on the system as the system is in motion. Add them to the freebody diagram of your system.
3. Add the inertia force as acting to oppose the motion along the center of mass on your freebody system.
4. Apply equilibrium equations Take a one story structure where the roof is a heavy rigid concrete slab supported by
flexible columns.
The beams supporting the slab are so deep as to be considered rigid in
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bending. You want to determine the response of this structure to a lateral load and expect
that the behavior will be completely planar.
P(t) 
m 

EI,L 
EI,L 


^{L} 
2 


m
P(t) 

u(t) 


^{k} col 
^{k} col 
As the slab is rigid and no bending is allowed in the beams, the only response is the
lateral motion of the slab. Once we know where any one point of the slab is, we can
determine where the other points are through geometry as all points move together and
have the same acceleration. As such, the system can be modeled as a single degreeof
freedom system (SDOF) – we only need 1 piece of deformation information.
Since the entire slab moves together in translation, the acceleration of all points on the
slab is the same. All the mass can be lumped at the center of mass of the slab. The mass of
the columns is either deemed negligible of lumped with the mass of the slab. The columns
act to resist the lateral force just as if the force were applied statically and deflect as shown
in the previous figure. Though no single physical element is a damper, one can expect some
damping to exist in the real system due to friction at connections and cracking of concrete.
Given all those assumptions, then the portal frame can be modeled as a massspring
damper system as show in the figure bellow. If we consider the spring and damper to be
massless, the mass to be perfectly rigid, and all the motion to be along the xaxis, then the
system has a single degree of freedom. The stiffness of the spring comes from the
contribution of both columns to resisting the lateral motion.
The equations of motion for the system are derived by placing the system in dynamic
equilibrium. We imagine the mass moving in the positive u direction (to the right). As the
mass moves to the right, the spring elongates and pulls the mass back to its equilibrium
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position. The damper also resists the motion as when the mass moves it tries to pull a
piston through fluid – the faster the motion the larger the resistance of the fluid. The
resulting freebody diagram for the system is shown bellow.
Note that the inertia force is drawn in the direction opposite to the motion.
Also, it is
drawn with a wavy arrow to signify that it is a ficitious force – not a real force as are the
others. The inertia force is equal to the mass times total acceleration, while damping and
spring forces are functions of relative velocity and displacement respectively. Since the wall
is not moving, the total motion of the block is equal to the relative motion of the block to
the wall. Then if we substitute expressions for each of the forces, the following FBD results:
The rollers also don’t for uplift, so no motion in the ydirection is possible.
So all the
dynamic behavior is constrained to the xdirection. Applying equilibrium in the xdirection:
xdirection
F 0
ku
mu
cu
p ()t
0
Rearranging the terms so that forces that are a function of the degree of freedom or its
derivatives are grouped on one side of the equation and external forces on the other, the
resulting equation of motion for the system is:
xdirection
F 0
ku
mu
cu
p (t )
u
2
n
uu
n
2
( )
p t
m
undamped (rotational) natural frequency
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n
n
n
n
damping ratio (assumes underdamped behavior)
undamped natural period
B. Earthquake Loading
^{u} r
^{u} g
u _{t} = Total displacement
u _{g} = Displacement of ground
u _{r} = Relative displacement

Total displacement of the structure: based on Newtonian inertial coordinate system. An 

absolute nonmoving reference frame. It is the sum of the ground motion plus the 

relative motion 


The relative motion arises due to structural deformations. They are the only component 

of motion leading to internal restoring and damping forces. 


Inertia forces related to TOTAL acceleration. 


The resulting equation of motion is: 





ku 
0 

m 
u 
u cu 

gr 
r 
r 



ku 


mu 
cu 


mu 

rrr 
g 
So earthquake excitation is equivalent to exciting a stationary structure to an effective
earthquake force of
mu
g
.
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C. MultiDegreeOfFreedom Systems
approximation of the drift demand, for the actual structure the most effective means of
reducing drift is by increasing beam member size (not column member). In other words,
most of the deformation actually comes from bending that occurs within the girders. This
model does not capture this behavior as it already assumes beams to be infinitely rigid. As
such, this model is stiffer that one you would generate based on finite element analysis as
well as stiffer than what you would expect in the real structure.
Equations of motion may be derived from placing the system in a state of dynamic
equilibrium.
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Resulting equation:
where:
M
^{}
m
1
0
0
0
m
2
0
0
0
m
3
kk
12
k
K
0
2
k
2
kk
23
k
3
0
k
3
k
3
P
t
p
1
( )
t
( )
pt
2
p
3
( )
t
Note that the response of each degree of freedom is coupled with the response of the
neighboring dofs. So response of the second floor, u _{2} , will depend on the response of the
first and second floors (u _{1} and u _{3} respectively).
Consider the displacement response as sum of the response of the individual floors – act as
basis for total response:
u
t
ut
1
ut
2
ut
3
ut
1
0
00
0
ut
3
2
ut
00
ut
010
ut
ut
123
In other words, the vectors {1; 0; 0} {0; 1; 0} and {0; 0; 1} are unit vectors for the coordinate
system defined by the degrees of freedom of your model. It is in this coordinate system that
the equations of motion are coupled. If we could transform our equations into another
coordinate system where the equations are uncoupled, then we can solve each one as a
separate single degree of freedom system.
So to simplify the analysis, we would like to find basis (or new coordinate system) where the
responses linearly independent. So assume you can find a displacement shape for the
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structure such that, if that is the initial displacement of the system, the system will vibrate in
exactly that shape with varying amplitudes. If you can find N such shapes (where N is the
number of degrees of freedom), the you have found N linearly independent displacement
shapes – no one of those deformations can be written as a linear combination of the
remaining shapes. These shapes can then define a new coordinate system. Depending on
how these shapes were chosen, they may lead to a coordinate system where the EoMs are
uncoupled.
For most systems, this can be found by transforming into Modal Space.
I. Modal Properties
Overview
One possibility for new basis are special shapes called MODE SHAPES,
. Will need as
i
many mode shapes as DOFs for complete description.
Can describe each mode shape through a linear combination of a unit displacement
along each dof and viceversa. So mode shape is a displacement shape of the structure
i
123
If “pluck”, or displace, the structure into any one mode shape, the structure will vibrate
with that shape with a corresponding frequency . The primary quantity is the
i
SHAPE, not the frequency.
Any general motion of the structure can then be described as a linear combination of the
mode shapes of the structure.
u
t
q
i modes
Modes are independent so can treat each mode as separate SDOF system.
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II.
Finding Modal Properties
A. Overview Modal properties can be found by performing an eigenvalue analysis of the system. Modal frequencies are related to eigenvalues and modal shapes are the eigenvectors for the system. Strictly speaking, these are found for undamped systems. While possible to find damped modal properties, in this class when asked to find modal information that will always assume undamped system. The inclusion of damping will be addressed later. Modal Frequency,
i
det _{}_{K} M _{} 0
where
2
i
i
eigenvalue = ith root of polynomial
o
The equation will result in an i ^{t}^{h} order polynomial. Each root will correspond to a
different modal frequency. Total number of possible roots is equal to number of
degrees of freedom.
Modal Shape,
i
KM 0
i
i
where eigenvector = mode shape
o
The equation will result in a system of nequations, where only n1 of them are
linearly independent. Assume a value for one of the elements in the mode vector
and solve for the remaining entries. Repeat for every eigenvalue found
previously.
B. Determination of Modal Properties  derivation Take the equation of motion for an undamped N ^{t}^{h} order multidegree of freedom system (system has N degrees of freedom) in FreeVibration:
Mu Ku 0
As with single degreeoffreedom systems, assume that the response of each degree of
freedom is harmonic. So the response of the i ^{t}^{h} degree of freedom,
u
i
( )
t
ut
i
( )
i
sin
t
Taking derivatives, the acceleration response is then
( )
ut
i
2
i
sin
t
If the structure is vibrating in a fixed shape (ratios of motion between degrees of
freedom remains constant), then the frequency of vibration is the same for all degrees of
freedom while the amplitudes differ. In matrix form, the response of the structure is then:
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u ( )
t
u
1
( )
t
u
2
( )
t
u
N
( )
t
1
2
N
sin
tt
sin
Substituting into the equation of motion, we get
KM
2
sin t
0
Since the above expression must true for all time, then the only way to satisfy the
equation is for:
Defining:
2
KM0
2
K
2
M
KM
0
Kq
M
The above is the Eigenvalue Problem, where is the eigenvalue and is the
eigenvector. For a nontrivial solution:
det _{}_{K} M0 _{}
The N ^{t}^{h} order polynomial resulting from the above is the characteristic equation for the
eigenvalue problem. The polynomial will have N roots, each one a separate eigenvalue
of the system. Substitute each one individually back into Eigenvalue Problem to solve for
corresponding eigenvectors.
C. Properties of Mode shapes In general, the eigenvalues ・ are both real and positive. If the mass and stiffness matrices are both positive definite, then this must be true and can be proven mathematically. However, when the system mass matrix M is singular, then you will have one or more infinite eigenvalues. In contrast, when the system stiffness matrix K is singular, then you will have one or more zero eigenvalues. Additionally, the eigenvectors ・ for a system where the matrices involved are symmetric must be independent of one another. This means that you cannot describe any one eigenvector as a linear combination of the others. To check, build a square matrix, Φ , where each column corresponds to an in dividual eigenvector. By definition, the column vectors must be linearly independent if the rank of the matrix Φ is equal to the dimension (number of columns) – we then say that the matrix is full rank. You can quickly check if a square matrix is full rank by looking at its determinant. A full rank matrix will have a nonzero determinant.
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The eigenvectors are also orthogonal with respect to M and K. For example, let
・ _{i} ・and・・ _{j} be any 2 eigenvectors with corresponding ・ _{i} and ・ _{j} eigenvalues
respectively. Then by definition, they must satisfy the Eigenvalue Problem:
KM 0 i 

KM j j T 
^{0} 
: j T j KM i j K T ji T M T j K ij M T 
0 
Premultiply both sides of the equation (a) by
(a)
(b)
Transposing both sides of the equation and using the symmetry property of the system
mass matrix M and the system stiffness matrix K:
M M
T
and
K K
T
we get:
K M
i
j
ii
j
T
T
T
If we premultiply both sides of equation (b)
i
and repeat the process, we get:
K M
i
j
ji
j
T
T
(c)
(d)
Finally, by subtracting (d) from (c), we get:
M
i
ji
j
T
0
(f)
So for any two nonequal eigenvalues – ie.
, then for equation (f) to be satisfied:
i
j
T
M
i
j
0
(g)
Equation (g) states that: eigenvectors corresponding to distinct eigenvalues are
orthogonal to the mass matrix M. This situation is not necessarily true if
. In this
i
j
case, eigenvectors in a group having a common eigenvalue are guaranteed orthogonal
only to the eigenvectors outside the group. However, provided that the matrices in the
eigenproblem are symmetric (true for system mass and stiffness matrices), then even
eigenvectors within a group can be made to be orthogonal to one another.
So in general
T
M
i
j
0
for i j
(h)
Substituting equation (h) into equation (d), we can prove that the eigenvectors are also
orthogonal to the system stiffness matrix:
T
K
i
j
0
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III.
Finding Response – Using Transformation of EoM into Modal Space
The matrix form of the undamped equation of motion is:
Mu Ku P (t )
Since any displacement shape of the system can be written by a linear combination of the mode
shapes, then the response of the system, u(t), can be written as:
where:
q
i
( )
t
i
Φ
N
=
=
=
=
=
u
()
t
N
()
qt
i
Φ q
i
()
t
i
1
response of i ^{t}^{h} mode
mode shape (or eigenvector) of i ^{t}^{h} mode
N by N matrix of all eigenvectors. Each eigenvector is a column in this
matrix.
Φ
_{}
1
2
N by 1 vector of all modal responses. Each modal response is a row in this
vector.
q
t
q
1
q
2
q
N
t
t
t
Number of degrees of freedom
Taking the first and second derivative of the response, these can then be expressed as:
u
()
t
N
()
qt
i
Φ q
i
()
t
i
1
u
()
t
N
()
qt
i
Φ q
i
()
t
i
1
Substituting into the original equation of motion:
M Φq K Φq P (t )
Premultiplying the above expression by the transpose of the Mode Shape Matrix ( ・・・:
Φ MΦ q Φ KΦ q Φ P t
( )
T
TT
Since the mode shape matrix is a square matrix size N by N, as are the system mass and stiffness
matrix, then the multiplication of those 3 matrices also results in a square matrix. So if we
perform that:
Φ MΦ q Φ KΦ q Φ P ( )
t
T
TT
M
m
q
mm
Kq
P
( )
t
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where:
M
m is the modal mass matrix. This matrix will ALWAYS be diagonal due to orthogonality
properties of mode shapes (see previous section)
M
m
T
Φ MΦ
^{}
m
m
1
0
0
0
m
m
N
0
0
0
m
m
N
K
m
is the modal stiffness matrix. This matrix will ALWAYS be diagonal due to
orthogonality properties of mode shapes (see previous section)
K
m
T
Φ KΦ
^{}
k
m
1
0
0
0
k
m
N
0
0
0
k
m
N
P
m
( )
t
is the modal force matrix
P
m
( )
t
p
m
1
p
m
2
p
m
N
( )
t
( )
t
( )
t
T
Φ P
t
You now will have N uncoupled equation of motion – one for each degree of freedom:
mm
mq kq
ii
ii
p
m
i
t
You can solve for the response of each mode,
q
i
t , using the methods discussed for solving
SDOF systems. Once you have the response in modal space, you must convert your answers
back into your original coordinate system – or the response of the physical degrees of freedom
you chose.
u
()
t
N
()
qt
i
Φ q
i
()
t
i
1
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