New Experimental Capabilities and Loading Protocols for Seismic Qualification and Fragility Assessment of Nonstructural Systems

R. Retamales, G. Mosqueda, A. Filiatrault and A.M. Reinhorn

MCEER-08-0026 | 11/24/2008 | 350 pages

Keywords: Nonstructural systems.  Seismic qualification assessments.  Full-scale tests.  Fragility assessments.  Floor accelerations.  Interstory drifts.  Multistory structures.  Seismic performance.  Hospitals.  Emergency rooms.  Medical equipment.  Cyclic loading tests.

Abstract: This report describes the new experimental testing capabilities provided by the University at Buffalo Nonstructural Component Simulator (UB-NCS). The UB-NCS is composed of a two-level testing frame that can subject full-scale nonstructural components and systems to 3g acceleration, 100 in/s (250 m/s) velocity and ±40 in (±1 m) displacement amplitudes. New experimental capabilities are provided for more realistic seismic qualification and seismic fragility assessment of nonstructural systems subjected to both full-scale accelerations and/or interstory drifts demands expected within multistory buildings. An innovative set of testing protocols utilizing the UB-NCS capabilities is proposed for qualification testing and fragility assessment. The proposed protocols complement, and in some cases extend, the capabilities of current protocols such as AC156 and FEMA 461. In particular, new capabilities are provided for testing nonstructural systems that may be displacement and/or acceleration sensitive by simultaneously applying interstory drifts and absolute floor accelerations. The testing capabilities of the UB-NCS are demonstrated through a series of experiments assessing the seismic performance of a full-scale composite hospital emergency room containing typical nonstructural components such as architectural finishes, piping systems and life support medical equipment. In these tests, the seismic performance of individual nonstructural components and medical equipment were evaluated as well as the dynamic interactions between them. The input motions for these tests included the proposed loading protocol and simulated building floor motions.