Hysteretic damper is intended to provide better and more reliable seismic performance than that of a conventional structure at the expense of the seismic load energy dissipation. There are four major groups of hysteretic dampers used for the purpose, namely:
- Fluid viscous dampers (FVDs)
Viscous Dampers have the benefit of being a supplemental damping system. They have an oval hysteretic loop and the damping is velocity dependent. While some minor maintenance is potentially required, viscous dampers generally do not need to be replaced after an earthquake. While more expensive than other damping technologies they can be used for both seismic and wind loads and are the most commonly used hysteric damper.
- Friction dampers (FDs)
Friction dampers tend to be available in two major types, linear and rotational and dissipate energy by heat. The damper operates on the principle of a coulomb damper. Depending on the design, friction dampers can experience stick-slip phenomenon and Cold welding. The main disadvantage being that friction surfaces can wear over time and for this reason they are not recommended for dissipating wind loads. When used in seismic applications wear is not a problem and there is no required maintenance. They have a rectangular hysteretic loop and as long as the building is sufficiently elastic they tend to settle back to their original positions after an earthquake.
- Metallic yielding dampers (MYDs)
Metallic yielding dampers, as the name implies, yield in order to absorb the earthquake's energy. This type of damper absorbs a large amount of energy however they must be replaced after an earthquake and may prevent the building from settling back to its original position.
- Viscoelastic dampers (VEDs)
Viscoelastic dampers are useful in that they can be used for both wind and seismic applications, they are usually limited to small displacements. There is some concern as to the reliability of the technology as some brands have been banned from use in buildings in the United States.
Each group of dampers has specific characteristics, advantages and disadvantages for structural applications.