Campus Units

Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Center for Nondestructive Evaluation (CNDE)

Document Type


Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date



Cladding systems are conventionally designed to serve architectural purposes and protect occupants from the environment. Some research has been conducted in altering the cladding system in order to provide additional protection against natural and man-made hazards. The vast majority of these solutions are passive energy dissipators, applicable to the mitigation of single types of hazards. In this paper, we propose a novel semiactive variable friction device that could act as a connector linking a cladding panel to the structural system. Because of its semi-active capabilities, the device, here termed variable friction cladding connection (VFCC), could be utilized to mitigate different hazards, either considered individually or combined, also known as multi-hazards. The VFCC consists of two sets of sliding friction plates onto which a variable normal force can be applied through an actuated toggle system. A static model is derived to relate the device’s Coulomb friction force to the actuator stroke. This model is integrated into a dynamic friction model to characterize the device’s dynamic behavior. A prototype of the VFCC is constructed using 3D printing. The prototype is tested under harmonic excitations to identify the model parameters and characterized on a set of nonstationary excitations under different actuator stroke lengths. Results show good agreement between the model and experimental data, demonstrating that the device functions as-designed.

Research Focus Area

Geotechnical/Materials Engineering


This is a manuscript of Yongqiang Gong, Liang Cao, Simon Laflamme, Spencer Quiel, James Ricles, Douglas Taylor (2018), Characterization of a Novel Variable Friction Connection for Semi-Active Cladding System.

Copyright Owner

The Authors



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