Recent Developments in Seismic Isolation Technology

by James M. Kelly, Univ of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


Large experimental research projects for isolators for both civil structures and nuclear reactor applications have been conducted at the Earthquake Engineering Research Center (EERC) over the past few years. These programs have involved shake table testing and the testing of full-scale and model elastomeric isolators. A wide variety of isolators have been tested, including low shape factor, moderate shape factor, and very high shape factor elastomeric bearings. The test results show that properly designed and manufactured isolators can sustain levels of loading beyond any possible seismic input and demonstrate that failure of an isolation system will not occur before failure of the isolated structure. Thus, the use of isolation can only have beneficial contributions to the protection of buildings with critical non-structural components and equipment, such as data centers and hospitals.

Subject Headings: Base isolation | Earthquake resistant structures | Structural failures | Failure analysis | Seismic tests | Seismic loads | Load tests | Health care facilities

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