The new techniques in seismic design of structures are usually attributed to high damping ratios. In such systems, the assumption of classical (i.e. proportional) damping is not valid and in most cases they should be considered as Non-classical systems. Since the analytical tools for studying the behavior of such structures are not easily available, the present work attempts to find the limits, in which, a non-classical system can be approximated as a classical one. This is accomplished, first, by introducing the mass participation factor for non-classical systems. Subsequently, a relevant spectrum analysis technique
such systems is developed. Using the spectrum analysis technique, the limitation of damping ratios in which two different types of Mass Isolated structures can be approximated as classical ones are determined. The results indicate that in the usual range of damping capacity for such structures, a well distribution of dashpots along the height of the system considerably reduces the non-classical characteristics of the structure.


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