, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 663-686
Date: 04 Nov 2012

Isolation parameters for improving the seismic performance of irregular bridges

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Abstract

Bridge structures are usually built on irregular topographical surfaces which create substructures with different pier heights and non uniform stiffness distribution. Three irregularity types of typical reinforced concrete (RC) medium length bridges located in a high seismicity zone of Mexico, were analyzed aimed at determining the best strength and stiffness parameters of an isolation system. The isolation system is composed by lead rubber bearings (LRB) located on each pile and abutment. The variation of the bridge characteristics and the isolation parameters produced 169 models that were subjected to ten seismic records representative of the subduction zone in the Pacific Coast of Mexico. A total of 1690 nonlinear time history analyses (NLTHA) were carried out in longitudinal and transverse directions of the structures. The maximum pier drifts, bending moments and shear forces demands were analyzed to identify the best isolation properties for reducing the concentration of damage in one or two elements and for improving the structural behavior of irregular bridges. Additionally, the analysis of the seismic response of the bridges supported on traditional neoprene bearings was carried out.