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Seismically Resilient Steel Frames with Controlled Rocking and Replaceable Fuses

Graduate Researcher(s): 
Xiang Ma
Faculty Advisor: 
Greg Deierlein
Faculty Advisor: 
Helmut Krawinkler
Faculty Advisor: 
Sarah Billington
Jerry Hajjar (Northeastern University), Matt Eatherton (Virginia Tech), David Mar (Tipping & Mar), Greg Luth (GPL&A), Toru Takeuchi & Kazuhiro Kasai (Tokyo Inst. of Technology), Mitsumasa Midorikawa and Tetsuhiro Asari (Hokkaido University)
Project Sponsor: 
National Science Foundation, NIED/E-Defense (Japan), American Institute of Steel Construction, Japan Iron and Steel Federation

Experience from past earthquakes and risk of future losses highlight the need for buildings that are significantly less vulnerable to damage and easier to repair after major earthquakes. Of particular concern are conventional systems that may sustain extensive damage with large residual deformations that are difficult or practically impossible to repair. Our research aims to develop a new structural system that employs controlled frame rocking action and replaceable structural fuses that can sustain large earthquake motions with minimal damage. The system combines desirable aspects of conventional steel-braced framing with energy dissipating shear fuses that are mobilized through rocking action. Vertical post-tensioning provides self-centering overturning resistance to minimize residual drifts.

This project entails the fo concepts will be described along with the planning, design, and observations of a large-scale three-story frame tested on the E-Defense facility in Japan. Shaking table tests under multiple ground motions and alternative fuse designs demonstrate the robustness of the system to sustain ground motions in excess of the Maximum Considered Earthquake motions without damage. Associated nonlinear analysis studies have been conducted to generalize the results for other frame configurations and to develop seismic design guidelines and criteria.