Continuous girder bridges have been extensively constructed in China over the past 30 years, and these bridges tend to experience severe damage under ground motions with velocity pulses. In the current research, an innovative linear friction damper (LFD) is proposed to mitigate the seismic damages of continuous girder bridges subjected to near-fault ground motions. The OpenSees platform is adopted to establish the numerical model of a continuous girder bridge in the near-fault region. Sixteen ground motions with velocity pulses are selected from the PEER ground motion database. The wavelet method is used to extract the maximum velocity pulse from the two orthogonal components of a ground motion. The effects of the initial gap, the coefficient of friction, and the spring stiffness of LFD on the seismic responses of the bridge are investigated by the response surface method (RSM). The seismic responses of the bridge for the original system (Non-isolated), LFD system (Isolated-LFD), and lead rubber bearing (LRB) system (Isolated-LRB), such as force–displacement relationship, bearing displacement, and pier curvature, are obtained after conducting a series of nonlinear time history analyses. The numerical results reveal that this innovative device (LFD) can effectively control the relative displacements between the superstructure and substructure of the bridge. Meanwhile, the seismic responses of the piers can be significantly decreased compared with the non-isolated system.
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