Self-Centering Damage-Free Seismic-Resistant Steel Frame Systems (NEES-2005-0077)

By Richard Sause, Erik Vanmarcke, Maria Garlock, Judy Liu, James Ricles

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Published on

Aug 04, 2017


Title: Self-Centering Damage-Free Seismic-Resistant Steel Frame Systems (NEES-2005-0077)

Year Of Curation: 2013

Description: The proposed project will investigate a family of innovative self-centering (SC) steel frame systems with the potential to withstand the currently accepted design basis earthquake (DBE) for buildings without damage. The project goals are: to develop fundamental knowledge of the seismic behavior of SC steel frame systems; to conduct integrated design, analysis, and experimental research on SC steel frame systems, using the enabling facilities of the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES); to develop performance-based, reliability-based seismic design procedures and criteria for SC steel frame systems; and to educate students and practitioners with fundamental and practical knowledge about SC steel frame systems. Unlike conventional earthquake-resistant steel frame systems that are designed to develop significant inelastic deformations under the DBE, resulting in significant damage as well as residual drift, the innovative SC steel frame systems developed by the project have the potential to avoid structural damage under the DBE as a result of several features: the lateral force-drift behavior softens without inelastic deformation of the structural members, and, therefore, without the resulting structural damage and residual drift; the softening behavior is created by gap opening at selected post-tensioned connections (e.g., a separation at the beamcolumn interfaces of the frame); the ductility capacity of the lateral force-drift behavior can be quite large and is not controlled by material ductility capacity; and energy dissipation under seismic loading is not from damage to main structural members, but from energy dissipation elements that are specified in the design process and can be replaced if damaged.

The project scope includes nine research tasks and a number of educational, outreach, and dissemination activities focused on SC steel frame systems. The research team will develop reliability-based seismic design procedures, system concepts and details, and energy dissipation elements for SC steel frame systems; will develop sensor networks to monitor and assess SC steel frame systems; and will design prototype buildings using SC steel frame systems, perform nonlinear analyses of these prototype buildings, and conduct large-scale laboratory simulations on specimens derived from the prototype buildings. The project requires the use of the Real-Time Multidirectional Testing Facility for Seismic Performance Simulation of Large-Scale Structural Systems (RTMD) NEES equipment site at Lehigh for large-scale earthquake simulations to achieve its goals.The hybrid (pseudo-dynamic) testing method will be utilized, and when needed, the real-time hybrid testing method and real-time capabilities of the RTMD will be used as well. The project team is multi-organizational, involving Lehigh, Princeton, and Purdue Universities, multidisciplinary and diverse. The team includes international participation from the National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) in Taiwan, and will be advised by a board of individuals from engineering firms well known in the US and international earthquake and structural engineering communities. 


PIs & CoPIs: Richard Sause, James Ricles

Dates: January 16, 2005 to September 30, 2009

Lehigh University, PA, United States
Princeton University, NJ, United States,
Purdue University at West Lafayette, IN, United States

Princeton University, NJ, United States
Purdue University at West Lafayette, IN, United States
Lehigh University, PA, United States

Sponsor: NSF - n/a - 0420974

Keywords: Energy Dissipating Devices,Self-Centering Moment Resisting Frame,Earthquake-Resistant Design,Steel Framed Buildings

"Damage-Free Seismic-Resistant Self-Centering Concentrically-Braced Frames"
Nathaniel Gonner, "Design, Experimental Setup, and Testing of a Self-Centering Steel Concentrically-Braced Frame Test Structure"
"Seismic Performance of a Steel Self-Centering Moment Resisting Frame System with Beam Web Friction Devices"

Cite this work

  • Richard Sause, Erik Vanmarcke, Maria Garlock, Judy Liu, James Ricles (2017), "Self-Centering Damage-Free Seismic-Resistant Steel Frame Systems (NEES-2005-0077),"


Energy Dissipating Devices, Self-Centering Moment Resisting Frame, Earthquake-Resistant Design, Steel Framed Buildings