Modal and Stiffness Proportional Damping

OpenSees allows you to use both modal damping and stiffness proportional damping in a dynamic analysis. This combination of damping models is useful when you want to control damping in the low frequency modes and not let undamped high frequency response tarnish the analysis. Consider a simplified model of a 40 story building. The story … Continue reading Modal and Stiffness Proportional Damping

Quick (and Dirty) Modal Damping

Frank recently told me about "quick" modal damping and explained it as "adding the modal damping forces to the right-hand side but not adding the modal damping terms to the dynamic tangent". The rationale for "quick" modal damping is to reduce computational expense due to: Assembly of modal damping terms into the dynamic tangent must … Continue reading Quick (and Dirty) Modal Damping

Gimme All Your Modal Damping

The GimmeMCK integrator is one of my more useful contributions to OpenSees. This integrator allows you to extract the individual mass, damping, and stiffness matrices, or some linear combination therein, in order to see what's assembled in an OpenSees model or to bootstrap new functionality. While getting the mass and stiffness matrices seems to work, … Continue reading Gimme All Your Modal Damping

Much Ado About Damping

I do not remember why I was searching the internet for "damping" a couple weeks ago, but I came across this document on constructing a Rayleigh damping matrix, $latex {\bf C}=\alpha {\bf M}+\beta {\bf K}$. But instead of taking the usual approach of specifying damping ratios for exactly two frequencies of vibration, the document describes … Continue reading Much Ado About Damping

Last Committed Stiffness

With the rayleigh command, OpenSees allows you to input three stiffness proportional damping factors: 1) the current tangent stiffness, 2) the initial stiffness, and 3) the last committed stiffness. Each option has drawbacks. The current tangent stiffness is problematic because the tangent stiffness can change significantly at each iteration of the equilibrium solution algorithm. The … Continue reading Last Committed Stiffness

Rayleigh Damping Coefficients

One of the best examples of "offline" calculations you can easily avoid in OpenSees is Rayleigh damping coefficients. I've seen people hard code the mass and stiffness proportional damping coefficients in their OpenSees scripts, after computing said coefficients in another software, e.g., MATLAB, or on paper. Inevitably, it becomes difficult to keep your OpenSees model … Continue reading Rayleigh Damping Coefficients

Gimme All Your Damping, All Your Mass and Stiffness Too

Just because OpenSees is open source does not mean it is a fully transparent box. This is mostly because documentation has lagged behind development. So, pessimists would say the box is semi-opaque while optimists would characterize it as semi-transparent. But a few parts of OpenSees are definitely housed in an opaque box. Take, for instance, … Continue reading Gimme All Your Damping, All Your Mass and Stiffness Too

Be Careful with Modal Damping

Modal damping is kind of the it-spell in the dark art that is modeling viscous damping in structures. Although modal damping is pretty straightforward, you should be aware of an important aspect of its implementation in OpenSees. The issue, which is described in section 9 of this paper, is that OpenSees assembles the dynamic tangent … Continue reading Be Careful with Modal Damping