Seismic risk sensitivity of structures equipped with anti-seismic devices with uncertain properties

Scozzese, Fabrizio and Dall'Asta, Andrea and Tubaldi, Enrico (2019) Seismic risk sensitivity of structures equipped with anti-seismic devices with uncertain properties. Structural Safety, 77. pp. 30-47. ISSN 0167-4730 (

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Damping and isolation devices are often employed to control and enhance the seismic performance of structural systems. However, the effectiveness of these devices in mitigating the seismic risk may be significantly affected by manufacturing tolerances, and systems equipped with devices whose properties deviate from the nominal ones may exhibit a performance very different than expected. The paper analyzes this problem by proposing a general framework for investigating the sensitivity of the seismic risk of structural systems with respect to system properties varying in a prescribed range. The proposed framework is based on the solution of a reliability-based optimization (RBO) problem, aimed to search for the worst combination of the uncertain anti-seismic device parameters, within the allowed range of variation, that maximizes the seismic demand hazard. A hybrid probabilistic approach is employed to speed up the reliability analyses required for evaluating the objective function at each iteration of the RBO process. This approach combines a conditional method for estimating the seismic demand at a given intensity level, with a simulation approach for representing the seismic hazard. The proposed method is applied to evaluate the influence of the variability of the properties of linear and nonlinear fluid viscous dampers on the seismic risk of a low-rise steel building. The study results show that the various response parameters considered are differently affected by the damper properties and unveil the capability of the proposed approach to evaluate the potentially worst conditions that jeopardize the system reliability.