Theoretical analysis and real-environment, full-scale laboratory tests are underway to:
Strategies for Seismic Protection of Equipment and Content
- Examine the applicability of Passive Protective Systems (PPS, isolation and energy dissipation devices) in the form of platforms, floors, or individual systems to protect different equipment sets
- Study the optimal characteristics of PPS for the seismic protection of equipment and content
- Study the interaction of PPS and the effects of floor accelerations on the response of sensitive equipment and their protective measures
- Fill current gaps: -on high-performance predictable options to protect vital equipment and -on knowledge regarding interrelationship among multiple variables controlling the behavior equipment within multistory building environments
Different strategies involving isolation devices and energy dissipation mechanisms are being explored not only to provide optimal performance levels, but also to minimize design and implementation costs. Different sets of damped-isolated floors, platforms and individual isolation are being strategically configured and studied in either a single-layer or a double-layer form.
Illustrating the Ability of Passive Systems to Protect Equipment and Components
The floor response spectra is used to demonstrate the effectiveness of passive systems reducing seismic responses of equipment and components in essential facilities. The floor acceleration responses of a 5-story building under earthquake shaking are computed and the acceleration and displacement floor spectra are calculated for three damping levels (5%, 30% and 50%).
Acceleration and displacement floor spectra for three damping levels (5%, 30% and 50%) for a 5-story frame under earthquake shaking
The spectral accelerations and displacements demonstrate that by increasing the flexibility of the equipment or content support (lengthening its fundamental period) and by increasing damping, their seismic responses of the equipment and content can be significantly reduced. The spectra illustrate the potential benefits of isolation and damping systems reducing significantly the seismic responses of equipment and components in the different floors of a 5-story building. This effectiveness can be achieved by arranging structural setting with flexible interfaces able to absorb seismic energy, to shift the natural frequency of the system away from the damaging frequency ranges, and to control displacements via energy dissipation mechanisms.
- Identification of optimal characteristics of the protective measures
- Evaluating the applicability and performance limits of the passive systems under different types of ground motions
- Validating the equipment-passive systems arrangements via full-scale experiments in earthquake testing facility
- Implementing a framework for analysis, design, and implementation of the protective measures.
Seismic protective options from this research have the potential to reduce the seismic vulnerabilities of equipment and components of essential facilities such as hospitals, data centers, emergency response centers, power plants, transportation management centers, and telecommunication centers.