Numerical investigation of potential mitigation measures for poundings of seismically isolated buildings

  • Polycarpou, Panayiotis C. (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cyprus) ;
  • Komodromos, Petros (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cyprus)
  • Received : 2010.05.15
  • Accepted : 2010.10.04
  • Published : 2011.03.25


During very strong earthquakes, seismically isolated buildings may experience large horizontal relative displacements, which may lead to poundings if an insufficiently wide clearance is provided around the building. This paper investigates, through numerical simulations, the effectiveness of using rubber bumpers, which could be attached at locations where it is likely to have impacts, in order to act as shock-absorbers. For the simulation of the dynamic behavior of such rubber bumpers during impacts, a nonlinear force-based impact model, which takes into account the finite thickness of the rubber bumpers, has been developed. Subsequently, a series of parametric analyses are performed to assess the effect of the gap size, the earthquake characteristics and the thickness, compressive capacity and damping of the bumpers. The stiffness of the moat wall is also parametrically considered during poundings of a seismically isolated building, as another potential mitigation measure for poundings of seismically isolated buildings.


  1. Anagnostopoulos, S.A. (1988), "Pounding of buildings in series during earthquakes", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 16, 443-456.
  2. Anagnostopoulos, S.A and Karamaneas, C.E. (2008), "Use of collision shear walls to minimize seismic separation and to protect adjacent buildings from collapse due to earthquake-induced pounding", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 37(12), 1371-1388.
  3. Goldsmith, W. (1960), Impact: the theory and physical behaviour of colliding solids, 1st Edition, Edward Arnold: London, U.K.
  4. Ishikawa, N., Nishimoto, Y. and Ukishima, T. (2006), "Development of new bridge restrainer using laminated fiber reinforced rubber. Solid mechanics and its applications", Adv. Eng. Struct. Mech. Constr., M. Pandey et al. (eds), 140, 809-821.
  5. Jankowski, R. (2005), "Nonlinear viscoelastic modelling of earthquake-induced structural pounding", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 34, 595-611.
  6. Jankowski, R., Wilde, K. and Fujino, Y. (2000), "Reduction of pounding effects in elevated bridges during earthquakes", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 29, 195-212.<195::AID-EQE897>3.0.CO;2-3
  7. Kajita, Y., Kitahara, T., Nishimoto, Y. and Otsuka, H. (2006), "Estimation of maximum impact force on natural rubber during collision of two steel bars", First European Conference on Earthq. Eng. Seismology (1st ECEES), Geneva, Switzerland, September 3-8.
  8. Kajita, Y., Nishimoto, Y., Ishikawa, N. and Watanabe, E. (2001), "Energy absorption capacity of the laminated fiber reinforced rubber installed at girder ends", High Performance Materials in Bridges, International Conference on High Performance Materials in Bridges, 122, 17, DOI:10.1061/40691(2003)17, Kona, Hawaii, USA.
  9. Kawashima, K., Shoji, G., Koshitoge, M. and Shimanoe, S. (2002), "Design of an earthquake-resistant expansion joint with unseating prevention system", FIB Congress, E-282 (CD-ROM), Osaka, Japan.
  10. Kim, H.S. and Shafig, R.M. (2001), "Model for thickness effect with impact testing of viscoelastic materials", J. Appl. Poly. Sci., 81, 1762-1767.
  11. Komodromos, P., Polycarpou, P.C., Papaloizou, L. and Phocas, M.C. (2007), "Response of seismically isolated buildings considering poundings", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 36(12), 1605-1622.
  12. Matsagar, V.A. and Jangid, R.S. (2005), "Viscoelastic damper connected to adjacent structures involving seismic isolation", J. Civil Eng. Manage., 11(4), 309-322.
  13. Muthukumar, S. and DesRoches, R. (2006), "A hertz contact model with non-linear damping for pounding simulation", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 35, 811-828.
  14. Polycarpou, P.C. and Komodromos, P. (2009), "On poundings of a seismically isolated building with adjacent structures during strong earthquakes", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 39, 933-940, DOI: 10.1002/eqe.975.
  15. Shim, V.P.W., Yang, L.M., Lim, C.T. and Law, P.H. (2004), "A visco-hyperelastic constitutive model to characterize both tensile and compressive behavior of rubber", J. Appl. Poly. Sci., 92, 523-531.
  16. Warnotte, V., Stoica, D., Majewski, S. and Voiculescu, M. (2007), "State of the art in the pounding mitigation techniques", Intersections/Intersectii, 4(3), 102-117.
  17. Zhang, W.S. and Xu, Y.L. (1999), "Dynamic characteristics and seismic response of adjacent buildings linked by discrete dampers", Earthq. Eng. Struct. Dyn., 28, 1163-1185.<1163::AID-EQE860>3.0.CO;2-0

Cited by

  1. Mitigation measures for earthquake induced pounding effects on seismic performance of adjacent buildings vol.12, pp.4, 2014,
  2. Evaluation of a passive gap damper to control displacements in a shaking test of a seismically isolated three-story frame vol.46, pp.1, 2017,
  3. Influence of bi-directional seismic pounding on the inelastic demand distribution of three adjacent multi-storey R/C buildings vol.6, pp.1, 2014,
  4. Assessing the effect of inherent nonlinearities in the analysis and design of a low-rise base isolated steel building vol.5, pp.5, 2013,
  5. Effectiveness of using rubber bumper and restrainer on mitigating pounding and unseating damage of bridge structures subjected to spatially varying ground motions vol.79, 2014,
  6. Base Pounding Model and Response Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures under Earthquake Excitation vol.7, pp.12, 2017,
  7. On the response of base-isolated buildings using bilinear models for LRBs subjected to pulse-like ground motions: sharp vs. smooth behaviour vol.7, pp.6, 2014,
  8. Numerical Study on Pounding between Two Adjacent Buildings under Earthquake Excitation vol.2016, 2016,
  9. State-of-the-Art of Research on Seismic Pounding Between Buildings with Aligned Slabs 2017,
  10. Optimizing Parameters for Anticollision Systems between Adjacent Buildings under Earthquakes vol.2018, pp.1875-9203, 2018,