Wind action can induce large amplitude vibrations in the stay cables of bridges. To reduce the vibration level of these structural elements, different types of passive damping devices are usually installed. In this paper, a motion-based design method is proposed and implemented in order to achieve the optimum design of different passive damping devices for stay cables under wind action. According to this method, the design problem is transformed into an optimization problem. Thus, its main aim is to minimize the different terms of a multi-objective function, considering as design variables the characteristic parameters of each considered passive damping device. The multi-objective function is defined in terms of the scaled characteristic parameters, one single-function for each parameter, and an additional function that checks the compliance of the considered design criterion. Genetic algorithms are considered as a global optimization method. Three passive damping devices have been studied herein: viscous, elastomeric and friction dampers. As a benchmark structure, the Alamillo bridge (Seville, Spain), is considered in order to validate the performance of the proposed method. Finally, the parameters of the damping devices designed according to this proposal are successfully compared with the results provided by a conventional design method.
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