Proposed in this study are several innovative seismic isolators composed of rubber materials that are called adaptive rubber bearings based on their adaptive characteristics. The materials used in the proposed isolators are free of lead commonly found in lead rubber bearings. The lead material results in a heavy environmental burden as well as lower yield strength and damping due to rising temperature during earthquakes, and thus causes larger displacements than we would expect. The designed mechanisms in the proposed isolators enable these devices to be manufactured relatively easily. They also provide extremely high damping to bearings, which is strongly desired by engineers in practice. The proposed rubber bearings are completely passive devices yet possess adaptive stiffness and adaptive high damping. The change in stiffness and damping is predictable and can be calculated at specifiable and controllable displacement amplitudes. The major benefit of the adaptive characteristics of seismic isolators is that a given system can be optimized separately for multiple performance objects at multiple levels of earthquakes. In this study, mathematical formulations are derived to explain the mechanisms of the proposed devices. Experimental results of high velocity cyclical loadings are also provided to verify the advanced concepts of the proposed devices.
An Investigation of Adaptive Rubber Bearings
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Tsai, CS, Su, H, & Huang, W. "An Investigation of Adaptive Rubber Bearings." Proceedings of the ASME 2016 Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference. Volume 8: Seismic Engineering. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. July 17–21, 2016. V008T08A032. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/PVP2016-63087
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