Three-dimensional response of neighboring buildings sitting on pile foundations to seismic pounding

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Journal Article
International Journal of Geomechanics, 2018, 18 (4)
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© 2018 American Society of Civil Engineers. Seismic pounding occurs when the separation gap between buildings and structures is not wide enough, particularly during major earthquake events; this can cause them to collide, causing local damage or, in extreme cases, collapse. This study investigated the impact that this separation gap has on the seismic response of midrise buildings supported on piles while considering seismic soil-pile-structure interaction (SSPSI). To achieve this aim, three 15-story reinforced concrete buildings sitting on pile foundations and with five different separation gaps under excitations from the 1994 Northridge and 1995 Kobe earthquakes were numerically simulated. This study used three-dimensional numerical modeling to simultaneously capture the effects of seismic pounding and SSPSI. Because the considered structure, pile foundation, and soil deposit are three-dimensional in nature, the adopted three-dimensional numerical modeling can provide a more realistic simulation to capture the seismic behavior of the system. The nonlinear behavior of structural elements was included, and the dynamic soil properties were obtained from field data and backbone curves. A contact pair interface with small-sliding surface-to-surface formulation between buildings was used to capture possible seismic pounding, and contact interfaces with a finite-sliding formulation were used to simulate the interaction between the piles and the soil. The results, including lateral building deflections, interstory drifts, structural shear forces, foundation rocking, lateral pile deflections, and the distributions of bending moments and shear forces of the piles, are presented and discussed. The findings of this study will give engineers a better insight into the possible effects of seismic pounding on the seismic performance of buildings, and the response of endbearing piles in soft soils.
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