Shaking-table study of base isolation for masonry buildings

T. J. Paulson, D. P. Abrams, R. L. Mayes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Results ot an experimental study are presented that help illustrate the effectiveness of using base isolators for reducing the lateral-force demand for engineered masonry building structures in areas of high seismicity. Two structures of identical configuration were each subjected to a similar series of three base motions that increased progressively in intensity. One structure was fixed to the platform of an earthquake simulator while the other was mounted on a set of four isolator pads that were attached to the simulator platform. Test structures were constructed at one-quarter scale using model concrete blocks and annealed wire for reinforcement. Measured accelerations of the isolated structure were notably less than that of the fixed-base structure for the same input motion. By isolating the structure, essentially no cracking occurred even for a base motion that caused significant cracking and yielding of reinforcement for the fixed-base structure. Measured response correlated well with estimates computed on the bases of newly proposed Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) design requirements for base isolated structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3315-3336
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering (United States)
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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