The current code-conforming structural systems are expected to dissipate energy through pre-determined inelastic mechanisms, which provides ductility to the structure and limit the force demands on structural components. However, these inelastic mechanisms are likely to cause significant damage and extensive post-earthquake downtime. In urban areas, this can lead to a significant economic recession. Shape memory alloys (SMAs) are metallic functional materials that offer complete shape recovery and hysteretic behavior after experiencing large strains, excellent resistance to corrosion, and high fatigue resistance.
In this work, these features of SMAs are exploited for the development of seismic protection technologies that can enable the design of structures with minimal repair needs and ensure functional recovery after a major seismic event. First, the compression response of large diameter SMA bars with different slenderness ratios is examined and their buckling and post-buckling behavior are revealed. Then, experimental response of a new energy dissipating device that employs a superelastic SMA bar as the functional kernel component encased in grout filled steel tube is described. Next, the use of large-size SMA cables in the development of passive control devices are examined through both numerical and experimental studies. Finally, the challenges and opportunities related to the use superelastic SMAs in seismic protection devices are discussed.
Dr. Osman Ozbulut is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Virginia. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Texas A&M University in Civil Engineering. His research focuses on smart materials and technologies for resilient infrastructure, nano-reinforced and sustainable composites, and structural health monitoring. He serves as serves as an Associate Editor for Journal of Intelligent Material Systems & Structures as well as for Frontiers in Built Environment – Structural Sensing journal.
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