Large-Scale Earthquake Simulator Study of the Tohoku University Base-Isolated Building

by Peter W. Clark, Univ of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, United States,
Ian D. Aiken, Univ of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, United States,
James M. Kelly, Univ of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


This paper describes a series of earthquake simulator tests of a 1/2.5-scale, base-isolated, three-story, reinforced-concrete building. Three different types of elastomeric seismic isolation bearings were used in the test program. The building was a scale model of an existing building in Japan constructed to demonstrate the effectiveness of base isolation. The tests of the concrete model involved two distinct phase: the first in which the model was braced to preclude damage to the superstructure with the primary objective being an evaluation of the three different isolation systems, and the second in which the superstructure was unbraced, and moderate to very severe intensities of shaking were simulated with the specific objective of studying the interaction between the nonlinear isolation system and inelastic actions in the model itself. This paper summarizes the results of the first phase of the investigation. The model was isolated with two types of high-damping rubber bearings and one set of lead-rubber bearings in turn, and tested at both moderate and severe earthquake intensities. A comprehensive series of component tests of individual bearings was also undertaken as part of the overall study. Results from the shake table tests show a significant reduction in superstructural accelerations, interstory drifts, and base shear force when compared with the expected response of the equivalent fixed-based building.

Subject Headings: Scale models | Superstructures | Earthquakes | Colleges and universities | Base isolation | Earthquake resistant structures | Damping | Shear forces | Japan | Asia

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