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Performance of a base isolator with shape memory alloy bars

Fabio Casciati , Lucia Faravelli and Karim Hamdaoui

Dept. of Structural Mechanics, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

Abstract: A new and innovative base isolation device is introduced in this paper based on extensive research carried out by the authors and their co-workers. A prototype of the device was built and experimentally tested on the shaking table. The new base isolation device consists of two disks, one vertical cylinder with an upper enlargement sustained by three horizontal cantilevers, and at least three inclined shape memory alloy (SMA) bars. The role of the SMA bars is to limit the relative motion between the base and the superstructure, to dissipate energy by their super-elastic constitutive law and to guarantee the re-centring of the device. To verify the expected performance, a prototype was built and tested under sinusoidal waves of displacement of increasing frequency with different amplitudes. It is shown that the main feature of the proposed base isolation device is that for cyclic loading, the super-elastic behavior of the alloy results in wide load-displacement loops, where a large amount of energy is dissipated.

Keywords: base isolator; dynamic excitation; energy dissipation; shape memory alloy; shaking table test


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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.