Fragility functions for eccentrically braced steel frame structures

  • O'Reilly, Gerard J. ;
  • Sullivan, Timothy J.
  • Received : 2015.05.05
  • Accepted : 2015.12.09
  • Published : 2016.02.25


Eccentrically braced frames (EBFs) represent an attractive lateral load resisting steel system to be used in areas of high seismicity. In order to assess the likely damage for a given intensity of ground shaking, fragility functions can be used to identify the probability of exceeding a certain damage limit-state, given a certain response of a structure. This paper focuses on developing a set of fragility functions for EBF structures, considering that damage can be directly linked to the interstorey drift demand at each storey. This is done by performing a Monte Carlo Simulation of an analytical expression for the drift capacity of an EBF, where each term of the expression relies on either experimental testing results or mechanics-based reasoning. The analysis provides a set of fragility functions that can be used for three damage limit-states: concrete slab repair, damage requiring heat straightening of the link and damage requiring link replacement. Depending on the level of detail known about the EBF structure, in terms of its link section size, link length and storey number within a structure, the resulting fragility function can be refined and its associated dispersion reduced. This is done by using an analytical expression to estimate the median value of interstorey drift, which can be used in conjunction with an informed assumption of dispersion, or alternatively by using a MATLAB based tool that calculates the median and dispersion for each damage limit-state for a given set of user specified inputs about the EBF. However, a set of general fragility functions is also provided to enable quick assessment of the seismic performance of EBF structures at a regional scale.


eccentrically-braced frame;fragility functions;steel;performance-based design;seismic assessment


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