Experimental realisation of the real-time controlled smart magnetorheological elastomer seismic isolation system with shake table

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Structural Control and Health Monitoring, 2020, 27 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Traditional base isolation protects structures against severe seismic events by providing a designated lateral flexibility at the base level of the structures. Due to its inherent passive nature, in the design process, compromises have to be made among performance of different design targets (displacements, interstorey drifts, accelerations, etc.). In addition, as the working principle, the effectiveness of a base isolation relies on the degree of “decoupling” between ground excitation and superstructure. However, a higher degree of decoupling compromises the stability of the structures. In other words, for a base solation system, it possesses inherent conflicts between the effectiveness of the isolation and the lateral stability of the structure. A concept of new smart base isolation system is proposed, in which real-time controllable decoupling for a base isolation structure is achieved by employing magnetorheological elastomer (MRE) base isolators. With controllable lateral stiffness, the smart base isolation system can achieve an optimal decoupling by instantly shifting the structure's natural frequencies to a nonresonant region. This paper aims at experimentally proving and validating this innovative concept, including designing a three-storey shear building model equipped with MRE base isolators, demonstrating the feasibility and evaluating the performance of the proposed system by a series of shake table testing. The comprehensive experimental design and results of shake table testing have concept-proved the proposed smart MRE base isolation system for future development in practical applications.
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