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Shock and Vibration
Volume 10 (2003), Issue 1, Pages 1-13

Effects of Superstructure Flexibility on the Response of Base-Isolated Structures

Jeevan A. Kulkarni and R.S. Jangid

Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Powai, Mumbai – 400 076, India

Received 7 June 2001; Revised 1 May 2002

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A parametric study of base-isolated structure with different isolation systems is conducted for investigating the effects of superstructure flexibility. The superstructure is idealized as a one-storey structure isolated by different systems such as elastomeric bearings (with and without lead core) and sliding systems. The governing equations of motion of the isolated structural system are derived and the response of the system is obtained for stochastic model of earthquake ground motion. The earthquake ground motion is modeled as a uniformly modulated non-stationary random process. The stochastic response of isolated structure is obtained using the state variable approach. An equivalent linearization technique is used for the approximate response of isolated structure with non-linear isolation systems. The mean square superstructure acceleration and bearing displacement of the system are plotted under different system parameters and compared with the corresponding response of rigid sup erstructure condition to study the influence of superstructure flexibility. The comparison of response is made under various isolation system parameters (i.e. isolation period, damping, yield strength of elastomeric bearings and friction coefficient of sliding systems). It is observed that the bearing displacement can accurately obtained by modelling the superstructure as a rigid body in a base-isolated structure. However, such approximation may under-estimates the superstructure acceleration under certain conditions.