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MCE Ph.D. Thesis Seminar

Friday, May 25, 2018
1:30pm to 2:30pm
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Gates-Thomas 115
Improving Seismic Collapse Risk Assessments of Steel Moment Frame Buildings
Kenny Buyco, Graduate Student, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Caltech,

Abstract: To assess the risk of a building (or class of buildings) to collapse in a seismic event, procedures exist for creating one or more mathematical models of the structure of interest and performing nonlinear time history analysis with a large suite of input ground motions to calculate the building's seismic fragility and collapse risk. In this dissertation, three aspects of these procedures for assessing seismic collapse risk are investigated for the purpose of improving their accuracy.

It is common to use spectral acceleration with a damping ratio of 5% as a ground motion intensity measure (IM) for assessing collapse fragility. In this dissertation, the use of 70%-damped spectral acceleration as an IM is investigated, with a focus on evaluating its sufficiency and efficiency. It is found that 70%-damped spectral acceleration is much more efficient than 5%-damped spectral acceleration and much more sufficient with respect to ε(T) for all considered levels of highly nonlinear response. Its efficiency and sufficiency compares also compares well with more advanced IMs such as average spectral acceleration.

When selecting input ground motions for nonlinear time history analysis, most engineers select ground motion records from the NGA-West2 database, which are processed with high-pass filters to remove long-period noise. In this dissertation, the extent to which these filters remove actual ground motion that is relevant to nonlinear time history analysis is evaluated. For shorter cutoff periods Tc (e.g. 10 or 15 seconds), it is found that the filters sometimes have a large effect on calculated collapse capacity, in some cases by over 50%, even if Tc is much larger than the building's fundamental period. Of the considered ground motions, simply using the raw, uncorrected records usually yields more accurate results than using ground motions that have been processed with Tc ≤ 20 seconds.

For an existing building with unknown design plans, one might perform a collapse risk assessment using an archetype model for which the specific member sizes are assumed based on the relevant design code and building site. In this dissertation, the sensitivity of seismic collapse risk estimates to design criteria and procedures are evaluated for six 9-story and four 20-story post-Northridge steel moment frames (SMFs) and the results are compared to those of pre-Northridge SMFs. It is found that the collapse risk of 9-story and 20-story post-Northridge SMFs can vary by as much as 5.7x and 2.6x, respectively, depending on the design. This is can be significant when compared to the differences in collapse risk between pre- and post-Northridge SMFs, which can be as small as 4.3x and 8.0x for the 9- and 20-story models, respectively.

For more information, please contact Carolina Oseguera by phone at 626-395-4271 or by email at [email protected].