This paper focuses on the design, fabrication, testing and analysis of a novel load-bearing element with good energy dissipation capability over a decade of variation in frequency and harmonic load amplitude. A single layer of the compact sandwiched-plate-like element is comprised of two von-Mises trusses (VMTs) between an upper and lower plate, connected to two dampers which stroke in the in-plane direction as the VMTs cycle between the two stable equilibrium states. The elements can be assembled in-plane to form a large plate-like structure or stacked with different properties in each layer for improved load-adaptability. Also introduced in the elements are pre-loaded springs (PLSs) that provide very high initial stiffness and allow the element to carry a design static load even when the VMTs lose their load carrying capability under harmonic disturbance input. Simulations of the system behavior using the Simscape environment show good overall correlation with test data. Good energy dissipation capability is observed over a frequency range from 0.1 Hz to 2 Hz. While the VMT parameters of a single layer can be optimized to a particular harmonic load amplitude, having two layers with softer and stiffer VMTs allow the system to show good energy dissipation characteristics at different harmonic load amplitude levels. The test and simulation results show that a two layer prototype can provide good energy dissipation over a decade of variation in harmonic load amplitude, while retaining the ability to carry static load on account of the PLSs. The paper discusses how system design parameter changes affect the static load capability and the hysteresis behavior.

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