Recent Developments in Testing Base Isolation Systems

by James M. Kelly, Univ of California, United States,
Ian D. Aiken, Univ of California, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Seismic Engineering: Research and Practice


One of these developments has been the ability to test large scale isolation systems using simulated seismic loads. These tests have not only proven the performance and reliability of the isolation systems and hardware, but have enabled correlation studies to be undertaken which have confirmed the accuracy of analytical methods and the acceptability of current design procedures. Component tests on single isolators are described. Tests on plain and filled natural rubber bearings, lead-rubber bearings, sliding bearings and bearings incorporating uplift resistance mechanisms have been performed. High shear strain tests on large (up to full-scale) elastomeric bearings have been conducted to determine the stability characteristics and limit states of the isolators. Performance evaluation studies using the earthquake simulator to test large scale model isolated structures have been carried out for a variety of isolation systems and structures. Uplift studies of slender base isolated buildings and the investigation of the behavior of base isolated skew bridge decks have been studied. This paper aims to highlight those areas where progress has been made.

Subject Headings: Base isolation | Uplifting behavior | Bridge decks | Load tests | Seismic tests | Shear tests | Building design | Foundation design

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