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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Innovative energy dissipating system for earthquake design and retrofit of timber structures Yung, Willy Chi Wai


This thesis presents the results obtained from a preliminary investigation into the potential application of the friction damping concept to wood structures to improve their seismic response. Sliding friction devices which contain heavy duty brake lining pads have been proposed in order to enhance a wood structure's seismic performance. The devices are mounted onto a structure's shearwalls to dissipate seismic energy input during the wall's deformation in an earthquake. Prototypes of the four friction damping devices were tested to examine their hysteretic behaviour. Conventional full scale, 2.44 x 2.44 m (8 x 8 ft) timber shearwalls, typical of ones used in residential and light-commercial building applications, and ones retrofitted with the friction damping devices were tested on a shake table. Three set of tests were conducted. They involved loading the walls under unidirectional racking, static-cyclic and simulated earthquake loads. Test results from the two types of shearwalls were compared against each other and against the findings from the computer programs SADT and FRICWALL. SADT is a finite elements program which computes the load-deformation behaviour of shearwalls. FRICWALL is an inelastic time-history dynamic model which computes the response time-history of a shearwall under a simulated seismic event. The cyclic tests of the friction damping devices showed that they exhibited very stable and non-deteriorating hysteretic behaviour. The shake table tests of the full scale timber shearwalls showed that the friction damped walls were stiffer, can sustain an average of 23.7 % higher racking load and dissipate an average of 42.9 % more energy than the conventional ones before a ductile failure. Failure in the conventional walls was brittle. These results were in agreement with the SADT findings. Under slow cyclic loads, they dissipated more energy, but because their overall hysteretic behaviour was still pinched, they were just as inefficient as the conventional walls at dissipating energy. On the average, their seismic performance was only marginally better than that of the conventional wall, with an average drop of 9.6 % in peak wall deflection. This is far short of the average of 29.5 % computed by FRICWALL. Detailed analysis of the results show that due to bending in the framing members of the shearwall, the load necessary to cause slippage of the friction devices was not achieved until wall deflections in the order of 25.4 mm (1.0 in) was reached. Since only at the peak or near-peak excitation levels of an earthquake did shearwall deflections surpass this magnitude, the devices were not able to contribute to the energy dissipation of the shearwalls during the majority portion of a seismic event.

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