Lessons from the seismic behavior of a steel grid roof structure heavily damaged in Lushan earthquake

  • Jichao Li
  • Zhe QuEmail author
  • Tao Wang


The seismic behavior of a school gymnasium, whose steel grid roof was heavily damaged during the Mw6.6 Lushan earthquake in 2013, is simulated through nonlinear dynamic analysis. The simulated damage is compared with field observations to validate the numerical model, based on which a parametric study was performed to provide insight into the failure process and damage patterns of steel grids. The results suggest that the grid damage is strongly related to roof-substructure interactions. These include not only the substructure’s amplification of the vibration, but the uncoordinated displacement of the substructure’s columns which support the grid also play an equally important role. In particular, the latter effect may significantly alter the internal force distribution in the steel grid and lead to unexpected buckling of members that are proportioned as tension-only members. While such interactions are generally not accounted for in the design practice for grid structures in China, similar seismic damage may be expected for other existing grid roofs in future earthquakes. As is also demonstrated in this study, seismic isolation of the roof is a promising solution to protect grid roof structures by mitigating the detrimental effects of roof-substructure interactions.


Lushan earthquake steel space structure roof-substructure interaction nonlinear dynamic analysis seismic isolation vertical ground motion 


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The research is sponsored by a project of the National Science & Technology Support Program during the Twelfth Five-year Plan Period of China (2015BAK17B02, 2015BAK17B03), the Scientific Research Fund of Institute of Engineering Mechanics, CEA (2014A01), the Program for Innovative Research Team in China Earthquake Administration, the International Science & Technology Cooperation Program of China (2014DFA70950) and a general program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (51578515). The authors also appreciate the assistance of the China Strong Motion Networks Center in providing the strong motion records in the Lushan earthquake and the parameters of the strong motion stations.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Engineering Mechanics, China Earthquake Administration and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Vibration, Institute of Engineering MechanicsChina Earthquake AdministrationSanhe, HebeiChina

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