DOI: 10.1002/eqe.4097 ISSN: 0098-8847

Investigation of seismic fragility curves of unbonded FREIs: Adaptive characteristics and modeling sensitivity

Hediyeh Sheikh, Rajeev Ruparathna, Niel C. Van Engelen
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Fiber‐reinforced elastomeric isolators (FREIs) are composed of layers of elastomer reinforced with either steel or fibers, and can be placed in a bonded or unbonded configuration between the upper and lower supports. The use of fiber reinforcement in FREIs was intended to reduce the production and installation costs compared to common steel‐reinforced elastomeric isolators (SREIs) and to develop an isolator suitable for widespread application, particularly in developing countries. The unique rollover deformation exhibited by unbonded FREIs (UFREIs), due to their flexible fiber reinforcement, enables them to adapt to multiple performance objectives at different hazard levels. In this study, the impact of different numerical models of UFREIs on the seismic response and failure probability of structures is investigated. The research employs incremental dynamic analysis and the development of fragility curves for different limit states, considering three sets of ground motions (including far‐field and pulse‐like). Moreover, the effect of full rollover was investigated by comparing the fragility curves of UFREIs when supported on modified support geometries, which involved three types of support: unmodified, accelerated, and delayed full rollover. The effectiveness of the adaptive characteristics to behave as a displacement restrain is demonstrated. The results emphasize the importance of employing an accurate model to simulate the behavior of UFREIs as an adaptive device for effectively utilizing their potential capacity, particularly at larger displacements where there is more dissipated energy due to full rollover.

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