Research and experience from past earthquakes suggest the need for buildings that are less vulnerable to damage and easier to repair after a major earthquake. Of particular concern are certain conventional systems, such as concentrically braced steel frame buildings, which are quite prevalent and whose design may rely on more inelastic energy dissipation than the systems can provide. The proposed research aims to develop a new structural system that employs rocking action and replaceable structural fuses to provide safe and cost effective resistance to earthquakes. The system combines desirable aspects of conventional steel-braced framing with two alternative and complementary fuse concepts - shear panel fuses and axial column fuses. The fuses utilize novel materials and components, including combinations of high-performance fiber reinforced cementitious composite shear panels fuses, low-yield steel shear panel fuses, and buckling-restrained axial column fuses. Guided by performance-based capacity design principles, the fuses are easily replaceable and can be tuned to provide optimal performance. Through a combined program of computational and experimental research, the project will encompass component and complete system response and synthesis of the results through a methodology for performance-based design that directly assesses life safety and life-cycle economic factors. The proposed concept emphasizes damage prevention to foundations and other structural elements that are difficult to repair; inelastic energy dissipation in structural fuses that are easy to replace; story drift control so that nonstructural damage is reduced; and sufficient safety against collapse. The research will involve quasi-static testing of a large-scale frame subassembly at the NEES facility at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and dynamic testing of a large-scale frame at the E-Defense shake table in Miki City, Japan. Outreach activities will focus on a project web site, web-based telepresence, and participation of undergraduate and graduate researchers.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI)
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Joy Pauschke
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Stanford University
Palo Alto
United States
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