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Keywords:

  • pounding;
  • structural impact;
  • rubber bumper;
  • shock absorber;
  • impact model;
  • adjacent structure

SUMMARY

During strong earthquakes, structural poundings may occur between adjacent buildings because of the limited separation distance and the deformations of their stories. A potential mitigation measure for this problem is the incorporation of layers of soft material, such as rubber, which can act as collision bumpers, in order to prevent the sudden impact pulses. In an effort to investigate the effectiveness of such an impact mitigation measure, relevant numerical simulations and parametric studies can be performed. However, none of the known impact models, which are available in the literature, is able to represent the usage of rubber bumpers with sufficient accuracy. The current study presents a simple but efficient methodology that can be used to simulate the incorporation of rubber layers between neighboring structures with relatively narrow seismic gaps. Such methodology will enable us to numerically investigate the effectiveness of using rubber bumpers to mitigate potential earthquake-induced pounding. In particular, a new nonlinear inelastic force-based impact model, able to appropriately describe the behavior of rubber under impact loading, taking also into account the limited thickness of the bumper, is introduced. Finally, a numerical example of simulating earthquake-induced pounding between two multistory buildings with the consideration of rubber bumpers at impact locations is presented. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.