Experimental Investigation of the Structural Fuse Concept (English)

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This report presents the experimental research program developed in conjunction with analytical research on the use of metallic dampers as structural fuses to reduce structural damage due to earthquakes. A detailed analytical research program and proposed design guidelines were presented in a companion report (Technical Report MCEER-06-0004). This report presents the results of a proof-of-concept experimental program to validate the proposed design procedure, which involved testing of two types of Buckling Restrained Braces (BRBs) on the shake table at the University at Buffalo. The first BRB had moment-resisting connections made by Nippon Steel Corporation (Japan) and the second had pin connections, manufactured by Star Seismic (USA). The main objectives of the testing were to: (1) assess the replaceability of BRBs designed to be sacrificed and easy-to-repair members, (2) investigate the behavior of a special type of connector, which is attached to the frame by a removable and eccentric gusset plate, and was designed to prevent performance problems observed in other experimental research, and (3) examine the use of seismic isolation devices to protect nonstructural components from severe floor vibrations. Good agreement was generally observed between the experimental results and seismic response predicted through analytical models.