The Structural Fuse: An Inelastic Approach to Earthquake-Resistant Design of Buildings

by Mark Fintel, (M.ASCE), Dir.; Advanced Engrg. Services, Portland Cement Assoc., Skokie, Ill.,
S. K. Ghosh, (M.ASCE), Principal Structural Engineer; Advanced Engrg. Services, P.C.A., Skokie, Ill.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1981, Vol. 51, Issue 1, Pg. 48-51

Document Type: Feature article


An alternative to the empirical approach to earthquake-resistant design of buildings is proposed and illustrated with a design example. Instead of strengthening every member to resist deformation under earthquake loads, the suggested approach deliberately makes some members, mostly beams, weaker, so that they will yield in a controlled fashion during an earthquake. Yielding beams dissipate energy, reducing stress on the more crucial columns and walls. Carefully selected earthquake accelerograms are used as loading, and dynamic inelastic response history analysis is used to determine member forces and deformations.

Subject Headings: Building design | Earthquakes | Inelasticity | Seismic design | Deformation (mechanics) | Seismic loads | Beams | Empirical equations

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