Impact of Structural Pounding on Seismic Behaviour of Adjacent Buildings

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Investigations into earthquake-related damage reveal that buildings are susceptible to serious damage and/or collapse during moderate to strong ground motions. Among the possible causes of structural damage, seismic induced pounding become noticed in many historical and the current earthquakes due to inadequate separation gaps between neighbouring structures. Countries around the world have compiled building standards to address the pounding issue. One of the strategies recommended is the introduction of the separation gap between structures, as seen in Australian Standard AS1170.4-2007, which requires 1% of the building height as a leased space between buildings to preclude pounding. There is a need to examine this specification to find out whether or not it is adequate to prevent earthquake-induced pounding. Also it is necessary to propose mathematical equation to calculate sufficient separation gap in order to avoid the collision between adjacent mid-rise steel frame buildings. However, if pounding occurs between adjacent buildings the impact lateral force should be considered in earthquake building design. Aiming to simulate pounding response, selecting the appropriate impact model and the model parameter’s especially the impact stiffness k is considered as acritical factor in calculating the impact force during the collision of adjacent structures. This research presents numerical and experimental results obtained through the shaking table tests under the effect of four scaled earthquakes, which were conducted on the scale models. The outcomes indicated that the recommended minimum separation gap based on the Australian Standard is inadequate if the short building in a coupled case is utilised under both near-field and far-field earthquakes. The standard is adequate if a tall building is involved but only when a far-field earthquake happens. Moreover, the results revealed that the theoretical impact parameters differ essentially with the identified experimental value since the supposition for deriving theoretical formulae does not match the actual impact effects. The results indicated that the numerical impact models over-predicted the pounding response. Nevertheless, the prediction results were corresponding with the experimental outcomes. The least variance and most accurate outcomes was produced by the linear viscoelastic model when the predicted results compared to the other models. Correspondingly, the results revealed that the proposed mathematical equation to predict the separation gap is directly proportional to the height of the short building and earthquake peak ground acceleration. The concluded proposed equations are simplified to enable engineers evaluating the existing mid-rise steel frame buildings with no structural irregularity.
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