American Society of Civil Engineers

Uncoupling of Potential Energy in Nonlinear Seismic Analysis of Framed Structures

by Kevin K. F. Wong, (corresponding author), (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Univ. of Utah, 122 S. Central Campus Dr., CME 117, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 E-mail: and Dianfeng Zhao, (Struct. Engr., Robert Bird & Partners Ltd., London, U.K.)

Journal of Engineering Mechanics, Vol. 133, No. 10, October 2007, pp. 1061-1071, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: A computational analysis method is presented to investigate the potential energy of fully nonlinear framed structures and other energy characteristics due to earthquake ground motions. The overall potential energy is directly related to the stiffness of the structure, and it consists of three components in a fully nonlinear system: (1) strain energy representing the storing energy that is associated with the linear elastic portion of the structural response; (2) higher-order energy representing the energy associated with the geometric nonlinear effect of the overall structural response, which is derived from finite element method; and (3) plastic energy representing the energy dissipated by material inelasticity of the structure, and it is being derived analytically. The merit of proposed analysis method lies in the uncoupling of geometric nonlinearity and material inelasticity effects before solving for the equation of motion, and this leads directly to the analytical representations of each energy form. Both plastic energy and higher-order energy based on single-degree-of-freedom system are studied in detail to demonstrate the beauty of the proposed analysis method. In addition, a method of generating energy density spectra is also proposed, which is useful to enhance the understanding energy characteristics in seismic analysis. Finally, a five-story frame is used as a numerical example to illustrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed method.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Seismic analysis