This study describes inelastic seismic design of piping systems considering the damping effect caused by elastic–plastic property of a pipe support which is called an elastic–plastic support. Though the elastic–plastic support is proposed as inelastic seismic design framework in the Japan Electric Association code for the seismic design of nuclear power plants (JEAC4601), the seismic responses of the various piping systems with the support are unclear. In this study, the damping coefficient of a piping system is focused on, and the relation between seismic response of the piping system and elastic–plastic behavior of the elastic–plastic support was investigated using nonlinear time history analysis and complex eigenvalue analysis. The analysis results showed that the maximum seismic response acceleration of the piping system decreased largely in the area surrounded by pipe elbows including the elastic–plastic support which allowed plastic deformation. The modal damping coefficient increased a maximum of about sevenfold. Furthermore, the amount of the initial stiffness of the elastic–plastic support made a difference in the increasing tendency of the modal damping coefficient. From the viewpoint of the support model in the inelastic seismic design, the reduction behavior for the seismic response of the piping system was little affected by the 10% variation of the secondary stiffness. These results demonstrated the elastic–plastic support is a useful inelastic seismic design of piping systems on the conditions where the design seismic load is exceeded extremely.

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