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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 49, Number 3, Februrary10 2014 , pages 395-410

Horizontal stiffness solutions for unbonded fiber reinforced elastomeric bearings
H. Toopchi-Nezhad

    Fiber Reinforced Elastomeric Bearings (FREBs) are a relatively new type of laminated bearings that can be used as seismic/vibration isolators or bridge bearings. In an unbonded (U)-FREB, the bearing is placed between the top and bottom supports with no bonding or fastening provided at its contact surfaces. Under shear loads the top and bottom faces of a U-FREB roll off the contact supports and the bearing exhibits rollover deformation. As a result of rollover deformation, the horizontal response characteristics of U-FREBs are significantly different than conventional elastomeric bearings that are employed in bonded application. Current literature lacks an efficient analytical horizontal stiffness solution for this type of bearings. This paper presents two simplified analytical models for horizontal stiffness evaluation of U-FREBs. Both models assume that the resistance to shear loads is only provided by an effective region of the bearing that sustains significant shear strains. The presented models are different in the way they relate this effective region to the horizontal bearing displacements. In comparison with experimental results and finite element analyses, the analytical models that are presented in this paper are found to be sufficiently accurate to be used in the preliminary design of U-FREBs.
Key Words
    fiber reinforced elastomeric bearing; preliminary design; horizontal stiffness; seismic isolator; vibration isolator; bridge bearing; unbonded application
H. Toopchi-Nezhad : Department of Civil Engineering, Razi University, Kermanshah, 67149-67346, Iran

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