Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 11, pp 5503–5527 | Cite as

Seismic performance of modular steel frames equipped with shape memory alloy braces

  • Papia Sultana
  • Maged A. Youssef
Original Research Paper


The demand for modular steel buildings (MSBs) has increased because of the improved quality, fast on-site installation, and lower cost of construction. Steel braced frames are usually utilized to form the lateral load resisting system of MSBs. During earthquakes, the seismic energy is dissipated through yielding of the components of the braced frames, which results in residual drifts. Excessive residual drifts complicate the repair of damaged structures or render them irreparable. Researchers have investigated the use of superelastic shape memory alloys (SMAs) in steel structures to reduce the seismic residual deformations. This study explores the potential of using SMA braces to improve the seismic performance of typical modular steel braced frames. The study utilizes incremental dynamic analysis to judge on the benefits of using such a system. It is observed that utilizing superelastic SMA braces at strategic locations can significantly reduce the inter-storey residual drifts.


Modular steel building Shape memory alloy Seismic performance Incremental dynamic analysis Inter-storey drift Residual drift 

List of symbols


Area of SMA braces


Area of steel braces


Flange width


Modulus of elasticity, steel


Modulus of elasticity, SMA


Yield stress of steel


Web height


Stiffness of braces


Length of SMA braces


Length of Steel braces


Lower bound flexural strength of the member about the x-axis


Lower bound flexural strength of the member about the y-axis


Bending moment in the member about the x-axis


Bending moment in the member about the y-axis


Axial force


Lower bound compression strength of column


Axial load in the member


Flange thickness


Web thickness


Yield rotation


Brace deformation at tension


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil and Environmental EngineeringWestern UniversityLondonCanada

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