NEESR-SG: TIPS Tools to Facilitate Widespread Use of Isolation and Protective Systems,
A NEES/E-Defense Collaboration


As part of the NEES TIPS project, earthquake simulator testing is underway at UB-NEES, to assess the performance limit states of seismically isolated buildings under strong ground motions. The experimental program includes component testing of elastomeric bearings to characterize their stability and system level shakes table experiments to examine limits states of isolated building systems under extreme ground shaking. The limit states under investigation include pounding against a moat wall, instability of elastomeric bearings and yielding of the superstructure. These series of experiments will provide a comprehensive data set to better understand how seismically isolated buildings perform under earthquake exceeding their design capacity and desirable limit states.

The model structure is a single-bay three-story scale moment resisting frame tied to a gravity frame providing the required mass. The building model sits on four Friction Pendulum bearings with an isolation period of 1.5 seconds. Concrete walls with sand backfill are placed at selected distances from the building floor deck to simulate impact with a moat wall. The impact tests are also investigating the effects of using rubber and other materials at the impact interface.

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This project is supported by the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number CMMI-1113275.