Numerical Block-Based Simulation of Rocking Structures Using a Novel Universal Viscous Damping Model

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Numerical Block-Based Simulation of Rocking Structures Using a Novel Universal Viscous Damping Model
Journal
Journal of Engineering Mechanics
Title
Numerical Block-Based Simulation of Rocking Structures Using a Novel Universal Viscous Damping Model
Authors
G. Vlachakis, A. I. Giouvanidis, A. Mehrotra, P. B. Lourenço
Date
August 25, 2021
Highlights
  • Rocking
  • Coefficient of restitution
  • Viscous damping
  • Numerical modeling
  • Out-of-plane collapse
ABSTRACT

Unreinforced masonry structures, particularly façade walls, are seismically vulnerable due to their weak connections with adjacent walls, floors, and/or roofs. During an earthquake, such walls formulate local mechanisms prone to out-of-plane collapse. This behavior has been largely investigated using classical rocking theory, which assumes the structure responds as a rigid body undergoing rocking motion, with energy dissipation at impact. Due to the complexity of the problem, however, e.g., number of degrees of freedom or boundary conditions, numerical block-based modeling is gaining momentum. However, numerical models lack a consistent and reliable treatment of the energy loss at impact. This paper bridges the gap between the well-established energy loss of classical rocking theory and the treatment of damping in numerical modeling. Specifically, it proposes an equivalent viscous damping model through novel ready-to-use predictive equations that capture the dissipative phenomena during both one-sided and two-sided planar rocking motion. The results reveal a satisfactory performance of the proposed model through comparisons with experimental results from literature and highlight its universality and robustness through applications of the model in fundamentally different block-based numerical modeling software.