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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 22, Number 3, February20 2006, pages 293-310

Overturning of rocking rigid bodies under transient ground motions
Luigi Sorrentino, Renato Masiani and Luis D. Decanini

    In seismic prone areas it is possible to meet very different objects (equipment components, on shelf artefacts, simple architectural elements) that can be modelled as a rigid body rocking on a rigid foundation. The interest in their behaviour can have different reasons: seismological, in order to estimate the ground motion intensity, or more strictly mechanical, in order to limit the response severity and to avoid overturning. The behaviour of many rigid bodies subjected to twenty wide ranging acceleration recordings is studied here. The response of the blocks is described using kinematic and energy parameters. A condition under which a so called scale effect is tangible is highlighted. The capacity of the signals to produce overturning is compared to different ground motion parameters, and a good correlation with the Peak Ground Velocity is unveiled.
Key Words
    rocking rigid body; natural accelerograms; ground motion parameters; response measure; scale effect; structural dynamics.
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale e Geotecnica, Universita ?a Sapienza? Roma, Italy

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