Seismic Response of Building Structures with Sliding Non-structural Elements

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Civil Engineering, BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad, India

2 Faculty of Civil and Surveying Engineering, Graduate University of Advanced Technology, Kerman, Iran


Interaction between a structure under base excitation and heavy non-structural elements that it supports is significant in the seismic analysis and design of the structure. Heavy non-structural elements may slide/rock under base excitation, and this dynamic action affects the seismic behavior of the supporting structure. Hence, in this study, a numerical model was presented to describe the seismic behavior of a primary structure (PS) supporting non-structural elements referred to as secondary bodies (SBs). The governing equations of motion for PS and SBs were developed considering Coulomb's friction model. Seismic hazard levels corresponding to Indian seismic zone III (medium hazard level) and V (highest hazard level) were considered. A parameter called displacement ratio (DR) was defined to quantify the sliding effect of SBs on the displacement response of the PS. A parametric study has been conducted to understand the variation in the DR due to varied time period of the structure, live loads to structure mass ratios and coefficients of friction between PS and SBs. From the analysis of results, it was concluded that the DR varies significantly with the time period, mass ratios, and coefficient of friction values. It can also be found from the study that the energy dissipation due to sliding of SBs was more in the highest hazard level than medium hazard level. Finally, the conditions for which the full mass of sliding secondary bodies should be considered in the seismic design of the structure are also presented.