Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 1457–1477

Experimental and analytical studies on the response of 1/4-scale models of freestanding laboratory equipment subjected to strong earthquake shaking


    • Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of California
    • Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, Richmond Field StationUniversity of California
  • Nicos Makris
    • Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of Patras
    • Earthquake Engineering Research CenterUniversity of California

DOI: 10.1007/s10518-010-9192-8


This paper investigates the seismic response of freestanding equipment when subjected to strong earthquake motions (2% probability of being exceeded in 50 years). A two-step approach is followed because the displacement limitations of the shake table do not permit full-scale experiments. First, shake table tests are conducted on quarter-scale wooden block models of the equipment. The results are used to validate the commercially available dynamic simulation software Working Model 2D. Working Model is then used to compute the response of the full-scale freestanding equipment when subjected to strong, 2% in 50 years hazard motions. The response is dominated by sliding, with sliding displacements reaching up to 70 cm. A physically motivated dimensionless intensity measure and the associated engineering demand parameter are identified with the help of dimensional analysis, and the results of the numerical simulations are used to obtain a relationship between the two that leads to ready-to-use fragility curves.


Laboratory equipment Nonstructural components Scaling Rocking Sliding Fragility curves


From the Earthquake Simulator Laboratory at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center, UC Berkeley, where the shake table experiments were conducted, we greatly appreciate the technical assistance of Don Clyde,Wes Neighbour, and David Maclam.We would also like to thank our PEER colleagues for their collaboration.We are very grateful for their continual feedback throughout the course of this study. This work was supported primarily by the Earthquake Engineering Research Centers Program of the National Science Foundation under award number EEC-9701568 through the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER).

Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

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© The Author(s) 2010