Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 7, Issue 8, pp 321–331 | Cite as

Techniques for testing structures permitted to sway

Mechanisms are developed that eliminate restraints caused by vertical loading and lateral bracing as a structure sways, and tests on building frames attest their effectiveness
  • E. Yarimci
  • J. A. Pura
  • L. W. Lu


Mechanisms are described that eliminate the restraining effects of the loads and the lateral bracing on test specimens permitted to sway. One mechanism, called the gravity-load simulator, maintains a vertical orientation of load even as a structure sways. The other is a lateral-bracing mechanism which moves freely with a test structure even at large deflections, and it does not require any adjustments during a test. A gravity-load simulator and a lateral-bracing system designed for use in testing full-size building frames on the equipment itself and tests of building frames utilizing the mechanisms show very satisfactory behavior of the gravity-load simulator and the lateral-bracing system. Some actual test setups using the mechanisms are described. Tests on three-story full-size building frames (30-ft high) and a frame-buckling test are included.


Mechanical Engineer Fluid Dynamics Test Specimen Test Setup Actual Test 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Symbols


load height of simulator


modulus of elasticity; braced point


distance between points where load is attached


shear modulus of elasticity


base width of simulator


moment of inertia in the bending plane


torsional constant, function of cross section (see Ref. 18)


arm length of simulator


moment about the plane of the simulator


buckling load


top width of simulator




x-coordinate of the instantaneous center


coordinate system


slope of inclined leg of gravity-load simulator


deflection, subscriptsH andV refer to sway and vertical deflections, respectively




end slope


twist angle


rotation of rigid member


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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Yarimci
    • 1
  • J. A. Pura
    • 2
  • L. W. Lu
    • 3
  1. 1.Dept. of Civil and Municipal EngineeringUniversity CollegeLondonEngland
  2. 2.Dept. of Civil EngineeringUniversity of TexasAustin
  3. 3.Dept. of Civil EngineeringLehigh UniversityBethlchen

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