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Real-Time Hybrid Simulation of Seismically Isolated Structures with Full-Scale Bearings and Large Computational Models

Alireza Sarebanha1,*, Andreas H. Schellenberg2, Matthew J. Schoettler3, Gilberto Mosqueda4, Stephen A. Mahin

Arup, 900 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90017, USA.
Maffei Structural Engineering, 98 Battery St, San Francisco, 94111, USA.
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UC Berkeley, Richmond, 94804, USA.
Department of Structural Engineering, UC San Diego, La Jolla, 92093, USA.

*Corresponding Author: Alireza Sarebanha. Email: .
† Deceased: 10 February 2018.

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Advances in OpenSees Applications to Civil Engineering)

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2019, 120(3), 693-717.


Hybrid simulation can be a cost effective approach for dynamic testing of structural components at full scale while capturing the system level response through interactions with a numerical model. The dynamic response of a seismically isolated structure depends on the combined characteristics of the ground motion, bearings, and superstructure. Therefore, dynamic full-scale system level tests of isolated structures under realistic dynamic loading conditions are desirable towards a holistic validation of this earthquake protection strategy. Moreover, bearing properties and their ultimate behavior have been shown to be highly dependent on rate-of-loading and scale size effects, especially under extreme loading conditions. Few laboratory facilities can test full-scale seismic isolation bearings under prescribed displacement and/or loading protocols. The adaptation of a full-scale bearing test machine for the implementation of real-time hybrid simulation is presented here with a focus on the challenges encountered in attaining reliable simulation results for large scale dynamic tests. These advanced real-time hybrid simulations of large and complex hybrid models with several thousands of degrees of freedom are some of the first to use high performance parallel computing to rapidly execute the numerical analyses. Challenges in the experimental setup included measured forces contaminated by delay and other systematic control errors in applying desired displacements. Friction and inertial forces generated by the large-scale loading apparatus can affect the accuracy of measured force feedbacks. Reliable results from real-time hybrid simulation requires implementation of compensation algorithms and correction of these various sources of errors. Overall, this research program confirms that real-time hybrid simulation is a viable testing method to experimentally assess the behavior of full-scale isolators while capturing interactions with the numerical models of the superstructure to evaluate system level and in-structure response.


Cite This Article

Sarebanha, A., Schellenberg, A. H., Schoettler, M. J., Mosqueda, G., Mahin, S. A. (2019). Real-Time Hybrid Simulation of Seismically Isolated Structures with Full-Scale Bearings and Large Computational Models. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 120(3), 693–717.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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