NHERI Lehigh testing shows effectiveness of rolling pendulum isolation systems in EQ damage mitigation

Published on August 2, 2023


Tests of a rolling-pendulum base-isolation system were performed as part of NSF award CAREER: Mitigation of Seismic Risk to Critical Building Contents via Optimum Nonlinear 3D Isolation (PI- Scott Harvey, University of Oklahoma, award #1943917). The work involved multi-directional real-time hybrid simulations (RTHS) of a rolling pendulum system for seismically isolating equipment in mission-critical buildings.

The study was performed using the Real-Time Cyber-physical Structural Systems (RCPSS) multi-directional shake table at the RTMD Lehigh NHERI Experimental Facility.

Outcomes from this study show that the rolling pendulum system can reduce the accelerations in the equipment by 80% during a major earthquake compared to non-isolated equipment. Consequently, the resiliency of the equipment has been enhanced by enabling it to have continuous operation. Below, watch a sample test from the project on the Lehigh shake table.


Lehigh shake table test of rolling pedulum base-isolation system.