Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 537–559 | Cite as

Seismic response of viscously damped braced thin-wall piping system: a proof-of-concept case study

  • Marc Tatarsky
  • Andre Filiatrault
Original Research


Thin-wall water piping systems are key to the functionality of important facilities, such as hospitals and schools. Recent earthquakes have demonstrated the vulnerability of these systems. Conventional bracing of thin-wall water piping systems does not guarantee adequate seismic performance. Due to their flexibility, dynamic amplification of long piping runs between bracing elements can occur. This paper evaluates, through a case study, the feasibility of introducing viscous dampers within bracing elements of suspended thin-wall water piping systems to improve seismic performance. Three-dimensional dynamic response analyses were conducted on a suspended thin-wall water piping system under seismic floor motions of various intensities. The dynamic response of the piping system with viscously damped bracing is compared to that of the unbraced and conventionally braced piping system. The numerical results indicate an improvement in seismic response for viscously damped braced configurations. The properties of the viscous dampers that causes the largest reductions in the seismic response of the piping system are noted and practical implementation aspects are discussed.


Damping Non-structural elements Seismic Thin-wall Viscous damper Water piping 



The Erasmus Mundus Programme is gratefully acknowledged for having provided financial support to the first author of this paper. The authors are also thankful to Clemens Beiter and Stefano Eccheli from Hilti for their assistance in the selection of the piping configuration used in the parametric study and to Dr. David Welch for generating the input floor motions used for the analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARUP NYCNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.School for Advanced StudiesIUSS PaviaPaviaItaly
  3. 3.State University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA

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