Semi-active storey isolation system employing MRE isolator with parameter identification based on NSGA-II with DCD

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Journal Article
Earthquake and Structures, 2016, 11 (6), pp. 1101 - 1121
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© 2016 Techno-Press, Ltd. Base isolation, one of the popular seismic protection approaches proven to be effective in practical applications, has been widely applied worldwide during the past few decades. As the techniques mature, it has been recognised that, the biggest issue faced in base isolation technique is the challenge of great base displacement demand, which leads to the potential of overturning of the structure, instability and permanent damage of the isolators. Meanwhile, drain, ventilation and regular maintenance at the base isolation level are quite difficult and rather time- and fund- consuming, especially in the highly populated areas. To address these challenges, a number of efforts have been dedicated to propose new isolation systems, including segmental building, additional storey isolation (ASI) and mid-storey isolation system, etc. However, such techniques have their own flaws, among which whipping effect is the most obvious one. Moreover, due to their inherent passive nature, all these techniques, including traditional base isolation system, show incapability to cope with the unpredictable and diverse nature of earthquakes. The solution for the aforementioned challenge is to develop an innovative vibration isolation system to realise variable structural stiffness to maximise the adaptability and controllability of the system. Recently, advances on the development of an adaptive magneto-rheological elastomer (MRE) vibration isolator has enlightened the development of adaptive base isolation systems due to its ability to alter stiffness by changing applied electrical current. In this study, an innovative semi-active storey isolation system inserting such novel MRE isolators between each floor is proposed. The stiffness of each level in the proposed isolation system can thus be changed according to characteristics of the MRE isolators. Nondominated sorting genetic algorithm type II (NSGA-II) with dynamic crowding distance (DCD) is utilised for the optimisation of the parameters at isolation level in the system. Extensive comparative simulation studies have been conducted using 5-storey benchmark model to evaluate the performance of the proposed isolation system under different earthquake excitations. Simulation results compare the seismic responses of bare building, building with passive controlled MRE base isolation system, building with passive-controlled MRE storey isolation system and building with optimised storey isolation system.
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