Tse-Shan Hsu

President, Institute of Mitigation for Earthquake Shear Banding Disasters

Professor, Feng-Chia University, Taiwan, R.O.C., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yu-Chien Wu

Ph.D. Student, Ph.D. Program for Infrastructure Planning and Engineering, 

Feng-Chia University, Taiwan, R.O.C.

Zong-Lin Wu

Assistant Professor, National Chin-Yi University of Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C

Tsai-Fu Chuang

Associate Professors, Feng-Chia University, Taiwan, R.O.C.


Heng Zhang invented the seismograph as early as AD 132 and in the following 1890 years, the death toll from major earthquakes has remained high despite the increasing level of fortification of buildings against ground vibration in various countries around the world. In view of this, the authors of this paper investigate the effectiveness of ground vibration fortification technologies in building seismic design codes. The results show that: (1) there has been a longstanding misunderstanding that ground vibration is the main cause of building collapse during earthquakes so that buildings have been fortified only against ground vibration; (2) various vibration isolation and vibration reduction technologies have been generally accepted, but their actual function is limited to reducing the impact of ground vibration effects on buildings that already meet the seismic condition; (3) vibration-resistant reinforcement is generally accepted, and its function is limited to increasing the ground vibration resistance of buildings that already meet the seismic condition; and (4) the seismic performance design goal is to change buildings from those that are susceptible to seismic damage those that are not. Therefore, these generally accepted technologies cannot actually achieve the seismic performance design goal. Based on the above four conclusions, the authors suggest that the seismic design code of buildings should add specifications for shear banding fortification and that areas where structures have been built or are planned should be divided into non-shear-banding zones and shear-banding zones. In this way ground vibration fortification can be effectively carried out for buildings in non-shear-banding zones, and both shear banding fortification and ground vibration fortification can be effectively carried out for buildings in shear-banding zones.

Keywords: tectonic earthquakes, ground vibration, shear banding, vibration isolation, damper, seismic conditions.

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