Experimental Seismic Evaluation of Ceiling-Piping-Partition Nonstructural Systems
Civil and Environmental Engineering
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The seismic performance of nonstructural components plays a significant role during and after an earthquake. Damage to these systems can leave buildings inoperable, causing economic losses and extensive downtime. Therefore, it is necessary to better understand the response of these systems in order to enhance the seismic resilience of buildings. A series of full-scale system-level experiments conducted at the University of Nevada, Reno Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation site aimed to investigate the seismic performance of integrated ceiling-piping-partition systems. A full-scale, two-story, two-by-one bay steel braced-frame test-bed structure that spanned over three biaxial shake tables was used to house the nonstructural systems. The test-bed structure was subjected to over 50 generated ground motions in a series of eight tests. The test-bed structure could be constructed into two configurations, one to produce large floor accelerations and the other to produce large inter-story drifts, affecting both acceleration and drift sensitive nonstructural systems. The responses and behaviors of ceiling-piping-partition systems were critically assessed through several design variables, configurations, and materials. The degree of damage observed during testing was used as an evaluation of the performance of nonstructural components.Post processing of experimental data led to results including acceleration amplification factors, seismic fragility analysis, and overall performance of nonstructural systems. Three significant findings from this experiment are as follows: 1) ceiling systems with pop rivet connections have a lower probability of failure compared to seismic clips, 2) pipe joints with 2.0 in. (50.8 mm) diameter pipes have the greatest probability of rotation failure compared to other diameter pipes, and 3) acceleration amplification factors for out-of-plane partition walls are comparable with the recommended amplification suggested by the ASCE 7-10 code for flexible components.