Behaviour of structures isolated by HDNR bearings at design and service conditions

Ragni, Laura and Micozzi, Fabio and Tubaldi, Enrico and Dall'Asta, Andrea (2020) Behaviour of structures isolated by HDNR bearings at design and service conditions. Journal of Earthquake Engineering. ISSN 1559-808X

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    High-Damping Natural Rubber (HDNR) bearings are widely employed for seismic isolation. These bearings are characterized by a remarkable nonlinear behaviour and often by a degrading cyclic response, induced by the addition of filler to enhance its dissipation capacity. This latter phenomenon, denoted as stress-softening or Mullins effect, can significantly influence the nonlinear dynamic response of isolated structures leading to a variability of the seismic response of isolated buildings. Moreover, the behaviour of HDNR bearings may produce an amplification of response, due to higher modes contribution, which can affect the performance of non-structural components and equipment. Models providing an accurate description of the nonlinear behaviour of HDNR bearings with significant stress-softening have been proposed only recently. Thus, the studies in the literature are generally based on simplified models. In this paper, an advanced HDNR model, accounting for variation of stiffness and damping with the strain amplitude and deformation history, is used to analyse the seismic performance of isolated structures at different intensity levels. First, a parametric analysis is carried out on a two-degree of freedom system to study different configurations of practical interest. Subsequently, a multi-degree of freedom system representing a realistic building is analysed to evaluate the response at different floors and the contribution of higher modes of vibration. The influence of practical aspects, such as the superstructure damping and the friction of the sliders, is also investigated.