This paper describes a semi-active vibration absorber (SVA) concept based on a real-time controlled magnetorheological damper (MR-SVA) for the enhanced mitigation of structural vibrations due to harmonic disturbing forces. The force of the MR damper is controlled in real-time to generate the frequency and damping controls according to the behaviour of the undamped vibration absorber for the actual frequency of vibration. As stiffness and damping emulations in semi-active actuators are coupled quantities the control is formulated to prioritize the frequency control by the controlled stiffness. The control algorithm is augmented by a stiffness correction method ensuring precise frequency control when the desired control force is constrained by the semi-active restriction and residual force of the MR damper. The force tracking task is solved by a model-based feed forward with feedback correction. The MR-SVA is numerically and experimentally validated for the primary structure with nominal eigenfrequency and when de-tuning of −10%, −5%, +5% and +10% is present. Both validations demonstrate that the MR-SVA improves the vibration reduction in the primary structure by up to 55% compared to the passive tuned mass damper (TMD). Furthermore, it is shown that the MR-SVA with only 80% of tuned mass leads to approximately the same enhanced performance while the associated increased relative motion amplitude of the tuned mass is more than compensated be the reduced dimensions of the mass. Therefore, the MR-SVA is an appropriate solution for the mitigation of tall buildings where the pendulum mass can be up to several thousands of metric tonnes and space for the pendulum damper is limited.
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