A simplified and versatile element model for elastomeric seismic isolation bearings

A novel approach for two-dimensional modeling of elastomeric bearings using three springs in parallel is presented. This simplified element model considers as follows: (1) an elastoplastic spring with a smooth transition between branches; (2) a linear elastic spring; and (3) a non-linear elastic spring, and is fully defined by only six parameters. The main advantages of the simplified model are twofold: (1) versatility, as a single model is capable of accurately reproducing the main characteristics of the hysteretic behavior of different types of rubber-based seismic isolators, including low damping rubber bearings (LDRBs), high damping rubber bearings (HDRBs), and lead-core rubber bearings (LRBs) and (2) simplicity, as it requires fewer parameters and it is easier to calibrate from experimental cyclic test results than most currently available models. Model parameters' identification is illustrated using quasi-static cyclic and earthquake simulator tests of HDRBs and LRBs, demonstrating that the model shows a good agreement between the test-measured and model-predicted hysteretic behavior. Different objective functions are evaluated in the optimization procedure, and their effect on the identified parameters is studied and discussed. This practitioner-oriented model is particularly amenable for implementation in general-purpose structural analysis software. Its usage is strongly recommended as an initial-stage design tool to select the optimal isolation system for a specific project.
Elastomeric isolation, Seismic isolation modeling, High damping rubber bearings, Lead-core rubber bearings, Non-linear time history analysis, Seismic isolation bearings, Elastomeric isolation modeling