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John Hickey

PhD Researcher
Dept. of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering


Seismic Performance of Steel Concentrically Braced Frame Structures

Keywords: Concentrically Braced Frame structures; Seismic analysis; Seismic performance; Hybrid testing; OpenSees.


Earthquakes are caused by sudden movement of tectonic plates deep below the earth’s surface. These can result in significant ground accelerations, presenting a problem for structures in seismic regions, which are required to withstand large lateral forces. Concentrically Braced Frames (CBFs), right, are one commonly employed method of providing the necessary resistance in steel buildings. Diagonal bracing members cycle between tension and compression, providing the required stiffness  

One of the main focuses in earthquake resistant design at present is improving performance and limiting damage across the entire range of earthquakes likely to be experienced by a building, as opposed to the traditional design philosophy of focussing solely on collapse prevention. In order to do this, it is necessary to develop a deeper understanding of how buildings behave during earthquakes and improve the ability to model this response.


This project aims to build on previous research at TCD to develop a greater understanding of CBF behaviour, through both experimental work and numerical modelling. A hybrid testing program, illustrated above, will be undertaken to investigate and improve the modelling accuracy of the behaviour of bracing members.  Using the OpenSees computational platform, further numerical analysis will be performed to improve understanding of the factors affecting lifetime seismic performance and how these can be controlled and improved through choices in the design process.


Project Supervisor: Prof. Brian Broderick