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Shock Induced Damage onto Free-Standing Objects in an Earthquake

Authors: Haider AlAbadi, Joe Petrolito, Nelson Lam, Emad Gad


In areas of low to moderate seismicity many building contents and equipment are not positively fixed to the floor or tied to adjacent walls. Under seismic induced horizontal vibration, such contents and equipment can suffer from damage by either overturning or impact associated with rocking. This paper focuses on the estimation of shock on typical contents and equipment due to rocking. A simplified analytical model is outlined that can be used to estimate the maximum acceleration on a rocking object given its basic geometric and mechanical properties. The developed model was validated against experimental results. The experimental results revealed that the maximum shock acceleration can be underestimated if the static stiffness of the materials at the interface between the rocking object and floor is used rather than the dynamic stiffness. Excellent agreement between the model and experimental results was found when the dynamic stiffness for the interface material was used, which was found to be generally much higher than corresponding static stiffness under different investigated boundary conditions of the cushion. The proposed model can be a beneficial tool in performing a rapid assessment of shock sensitive components considered for possible seismic rectification. 

Keywords: Impact, shock, earthquakes, rocking, building contents, overturning.

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