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  1. Abstract

    Damage caused by earthquakes to buildings and their contents (e.g., sensitive equipment) can impact life safety and disrupt business operations following an event. Floor isolation systems (FISs) are a promising retrofit strategy for protecting vital building contents. In this study, real‐time hybrid simulation (RTHS) is utilized to experimentally incorporate multi‐scale (building–FIS–equipment) interactions. For this, an experimental setup representing one bearing of a rolling pendulum (RP) based FIS is studied—first through characterization tests and then through RTHS. A series of tests was conducted at the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) Experimental Facility at Lehigh University. Multiple excitations were used to study the experimental setup under uni‐axial loading. Details of the experimental testbed and test protocols for the characterization and RTHS tests are presented, along with results from these tests, which focused on the effect of different rolling surface treatments for supplemental damping, the FIS–equipment and building–FIS interactions, and rigorous evaluation of different RP isolation bearing designs through RTHS.

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  2. Abstract

    Floor isolation systems (FISs) are used to mitigate earthquake‐induced damage to sensitive building contents. Dynamic coupling between the FIS and primary structure (PS) may be nonnegligible or even advantageous when strong nonlinearities are present under large isolator displacements. This study investigates the influence of dynamic coupling between the PS and FIS in the presence of nonsmooth (impact‐like) nonlinearity in the FIS under intense earthquakes. Using component mode analysis, a nonlinear reduced order model of the combined FIS–PS system is developed by coupling a condensed model of the linear PS to the nonlinear FIS. A bilinear Hertz‐type contact model is assumed for the FIS, with the gap and the impact stiffness and damping providing parametric variation. The performance of the FIS–PS system is quantified through a multiobjective, risk‐based design criterion considering both the total acceleration sustained by the isolated mass under a service‐level earthquake and the interstory drift under a maximum considered earthquake. The results of a parametric study shed light on understanding the valid range that the decoupled approach can be reliably applied for nonlinear FISs experiencing impacts. It is also shown that the nonlinear FIS can be tuned in such a way to mitigate seismic responses of the supporting PS under strong shaking, in addition to protecting the isolated mass at low to moderate shaking. The FIS, therefore, functions as a dual‐mode vibration isolator/absorber system, with displacement‐dependent response adaptation. Guidelines to the optimal tuning of such a dual‐mode system are presented based on the risk‐based stochastic design optimization.

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  3. Protecting both the essential building contents and the structural system—as well as facilitating and accelerating the post-event functionality of business operations—is a major concern during natural hazards. Floor isolation systems (FIS) with rolling pendulum bearings along with nonlinear fluid viscous dampers (NFVD) have been proposed to mitigate damage and enhance the resiliency of non-structural and structural systems, respectively. These devices are designed to decrease vibrations under dynamic loading conditions. In this poster, we introduce research using tridimensional nonlinear cyber-physical experimental testing (i.e., real-time hybrid simulations) to validate the performance of these response modification devices placed in structural systems under wind and earthquake loading conditions. The effects of soil-structure-foundation and fluid-structure interactions were also accounted for. The novelty of the project is the use of multi-directional large-scale real-time hybrid simulations of complex nonlinear systems under wind and earthquake demands to combine experimental structural modification passive devices with analytical multi-story buildings considering soil-foundation interaction via neural network. Results show that the FIS and NFVD can significantly reduce the demand on non-structural and structural systems of buildings subjected to natural hazards whose response can be also significantly affected by soil-foundation-structure interaction. A product of this research is the data (which is linked in Related Works), which can be used to compare with new studies using the same experimental techniques and structural modification devices or with alternative approaches. Researchers interested in multi-natural hazards resilience and mitigation, state-of-the-art structural experimental techniques, and the use of machine learning as a tool to improve modeling efficiency will benefit from its results. Also, companies dedicated to the commercial development of structural response modification devices, as well as policymakers working or with interest in economic and social resilience. 
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  4. Rolling-pendulum (RP) isolation bearings with different surface treatments were tested under quasi-static, harmonic, and simulated earthquake-induced motions. These tests were used to characterize the behavior of the RP bearings, including the gravitational restoring force and the rolling resistance associated with the elastomeric coatings of different thicknesses. The experimental data from analog sensors and cameras is archived here, as documented in the data report. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Floor isolation systems (FISs) are used to mitigate earthquake-induced damage to sensitive building contents and equipment. Traditionally, the isolated floor and the primary building structure (PS) are analyzed independently, assuming the PS response is uncoupled from the FIS response. Dynamic coupling may be non-negligible when nonlinearities are present under large deflections at strong disturbance levels. This study investigates a multi-functional FIS that functions primarily as an isolator (i.e., attenuating total acceleration sustained by the isolated equipment) at low-to-moderate disturbance levels, and then passively adapt under strong disturbances to function as a nonlinear (vibro-impact) dynamic vibration absorbers to protect the PS (i.e., reducing inter-story drifts). The FIS, therefore, functions as a dual-model vibration isolator/absorber system, with displacement dependent response adaptation. A scale experimental model—consisting of a three-story frame and an isolated mass—is used to demonstrate and evaluate the design methodology via shake table tests. The properties of the 3D-printed rolling pendulum (RP) bearing, the seismic gap, and the impact mechanism are optimized to achieve the desired dual-mode performance. A suite of four ground motions with varying spectral qualities are used, and their amplitudes are scaled to represent various hazards—from service level earthquake (SLE), to design basis earthquake (DBE), and even maximum considered earthquake (MCE). The performance of the multi-functional FIS is established and is described in this paper. 
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