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Shock and Vibration
Volume 20 (2013), Issue 4, Pages 725-735

Development and Mechanical Performance of a New Kind of Bridge Seismic Isolator for Low Seismic Regions

H. Zhang, J. Li, and T. Peng

Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

Received 24 September 2011; Revised 3 December 2012; Accepted 29 January 2013

Copyright © 2013 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.


The concept of fibre-reinforced plate elastomeric isolator (FRPEI) is introduced firstly in this paper. Three FRPEI specimens have been constructed to evaluate the mechanical performance of the isolators by performing vertical and horizontal tests. The research focuses on the compression stiffness, the shear stiffness, the hysteretic characteristic and the vertical bearing capacity of the isolators. The experimental results show that the mechanical performance of FRPEIs can meet the requirements of bridge rubber bearings and the energy dissipation capacity is better than that of general laminated rubber bearings. Therefore, it is feasible to use FRPEIs in seismic isolation of short span bridges in low seismic regions. Theoretical and finite element methods have also been employed and the deformation assumptions applied in the theoretical method are also verified by FEM. By comparing the differences of the results of different methods, the effectivenesses of the theoretical and finite element methods are evaluated and some considerations on isolator design are proposed.