Effects of soil plasticity on seismic performance of mid-rise building frames resting on soft soils

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Advances in Structural Engineering, 2014, 17 (10), pp. 1387 - 1402
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In this study, the effects of Plasticity Index (PI) variation on the seismic response of mid-rise building frames resting on soft soil deposits are investigated. To achieve this goal, three structural models including 5, 10, and 15 storey buildings are simulated in conjunction with a clayey soil representing soil class Ee according to the classification of AS1170.4-2007 (Earthquake actions in Australia) and then varying the Plasticity Index. Structural sections of the selected frames were designed according to AS3600-2009 (Australian Standard for Concrete Structures) after undertaking dynamic analysis under the influence of four different earthquake ground motions. The frame sections are modelled and analysed, employing finite difference method adopting FLAC 2D software under two different boundary conditions: (i) fixed base (no Soil-Structure Interaction), and (ii) flexible base considering soil-structure interaction. Fully nonlinear dynamic analyses under the influence of different earthquake records are conducted and the results in terms of maximum lateral displacements and inter-storey drifts for the above mentioned boundary conditions are obtained, compared, and discussed. Base on the results of the numerical investigations, it becomes apparent that as the Plasticity Index of the subsoil increases, the base shears of mid-rise building frames resting on soft soil deposits increase, while the lateral deflections and corresponding inter-storey drifts decrease. It is concluded that reduction of the Plasticity Index could noticeably amplify the effects of soil-structure interaction on the seismic response of mid-rise building frames.
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