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Improving the Seismic Performance of Staircases in Building Structures with a Novel Isolator

Yafei Zhang1,2, Ping Tan1,2,*, Haitao Ma1,2, Marco Donà1,2

1 Key Laboratory of Earthquake Resistance, Earthquake Mitigation and Structural Safety, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, 510405, China
2 Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Earthquake Engineering and Applied Technology, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, 510405, China

* Corresponding Author: Ping Tan. Email:

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Numerical Modeling and Simulation for Structural Safety and Disaster Mitigation)

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2020, 124(2), 415-431.


A staircase provides the main escape way from a building in an emergency. Unfortunately, it may suffer severe damages or even collapse during an earthquake. For improving the seismic performance of staircases, this paper proposes an innovative staircase isolator with the features of lightweight, costeffective and ease of construction and replacement, which is formed by suitable engineering plastic shims between rubber layers. A connection construction scheme is also proposed for the isolated staircase. Systematic performance tests have been carried out to characterize the isolator in terms of mechanic behavior and ultimate states. The test results show that mechanical properties of the proposed staircase isolator are excellent and suitable for staircase in building structure. In order to investigate the influence of staircase on building structural responses, time history analyses of a typical building structure without staircase (WS), with fixed staircase (FS) and with isolated staircase (IS) are conducted and compared within the environment of SAP2000. Results show that staircase isolation can effectively eliminate the diagonal bracing effect of staircase slab and make structural components uniformly stressed. When the novel isolator is employed for staircase in a building structure, there is no vulnerable position in staircase and the performance of staircase in building structure can be greatly enhanced.


Cite This Article

Zhang, Y., Tan, P., Ma, H., Donà, M. (2020). Improving the Seismic Performance of Staircases in Building Structures with a Novel Isolator. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 124(2), 415–431.


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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