Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Friction dissipation mechanismNear-fault earthquakesPassive vibration control of structuresSeismic base isolationVertical earthquake excitation component


Device for the seismic isolation with regard to the vertical component of the earthquake excitation of civil engineering structures and non-structural components of strategic importance. The geometric shape of this device allows vertical isolation to be reached by using some elementary and material mechanisms already used in traditional isolation devices for horizontal actions.

Technical features

The device has the shape of a parallelepiped and consists of two steel plates, constituting the base and the top of the device (5.1), which slide on the jaws (2) having a predetermined inclination, also made of steel. At the center of the device, inserted between the jaws and placed symmetrically with respect to the vertical and horizontal plane, there is a central element in reinforced elastomer (3). The surfaces placed at the interface between the plates and the jaws (4) are coated with properly  treated materials (polymer materials like PTFE or high resistance polymers). The dissipation mechanism of the device is based on the friction between such surfaces, while its the vertical stiffness is dependent on the elasticity characteristics of the central elastomer element as well as on the slope of the jaws.

Possible Applications

  • Manufacturing companies of seismic protection devices in the field of civil engineering;
  • Civil engineering, building engineering, nuclear power plants, strategies structures.


  • Insulation mechanism based on simple mechanical concepts;
  • Simple, standardized and economic structure;
  • Use of materials widely used for horizontal seismic isolation devices;
  • Regular geometric shapes;
  • Possibility to extend the technology of isolation from vertical vibrations produced by industrial machinery to the civil engineering sector, with applications related to buildings, bridges of big span.