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Probabilistic seismic response and reliability assessment of isolated bridges

Giuseppe Carlo Marano

Department of Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Development, Technical University of Bari, Taranto, Italy

Abstract: Bridge seismic isolation strategy is based on the reduction of shear forces transmitted from the superstructure to the piers by two means: shifting natural period and earthquake input energy reduction by dissipation concentrated in protection devices. In this paper, a stochastic analysis of a simple isolated bridge model for different bridge and device parameters is conducted to assess the efficiency of this seismic protection strategy. To achieve this aim, a simple nonlinear softening constitutive law is adopted to model a wide range of isolation devices, characterized by only three essential mechanical parameters. As a consequence of the random nature of seismic motion, a probabilistic analysis is carried out and the time modulated Kanai-Tajimi stochastic process is adopted to represent the seismic action. The response covariance in the state space is obtained by solving the Lyapunov equation for a stochastic linearized system. After a sensitivity analysis, the failure probability referred to extreme displacement and the mean value of dissipated energy are assessed by using the introduced stochastic indices of seismic bridge protection efficiency. A parametric analysis for protective devices with different mechanical parameters is developed for a proper selection of parameters of isolation devices under different situations.

Keywords: bridge; seismic isolation; stochastic analysis; nonlinear softening constitutive law; reliability assessment

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Copyright 2009 IEM. Journal of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except as described below, without written permission from the Publisher. Copying of articles is not permitted except for personal and internal use, to the extent permitted by national copyright law, or under the terms of a license issued by the National Reproduction Rights Organization of China.