|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 4|
The vast majority of the Middle East countries are prone to earthquakes. Despite that and from a seismic hazard point of view, the higher values of the superimposed dead load intensity of partitions and wearing materials of the constructed reinforced concrete slabs in these countries can increase the earthquake vulnerability of the structures. The primary objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of reducing superimposed dead load on the lateral seismic deformations of structures, the inter-story drifts and the seismic pounding damages. The study utilizes a group of three reinforced concrete structures at three different site conditions. These structures are assumed to be constructed in Nablus city of Palestine, and having superimposed dead load value as 1 kN/m2, 3 kN/m2, and 5 kN/m2, respectively. SAP2000 program, Version 18.1.1, is used to perform the response spectrum analysis to obtain the potential lateral seismic deformations of the studied models. Amazingly, the study points that, at the same site, superimposed dead load has a minor effect on the lateral deflections of the models. This, however, promotes the hypothesis that buildings failed during earthquakes mainly because they were not designed appropriately against gravity loads.
Two-dimensional finite element model was created in this work to investigate the stresses distribution within rock-like samples with offset open non-persistent joints under biaxial loading. The results of this study have explained the fracture mechanisms observed in tests on rock-like material with open non-persistent offset joints . Finite element code SAP2000 was used to study the stresses distribution within the specimens. Four-nodded isoperimetric plain strain element with two degree of freedom per node, and the three-nodded constant strain triangular element with two degree of freedom per node were used in the present study.The results of the present study explained the formation of wing cracks at the tip of the joints for low confining stress as well as the formation of wing cracks at the middle of the joint for the higher confining stress. High shear stresses found in the numerical study at the tip of the joints explained the formation of secondary cracks at the tip of the joints in the experimental study. The study results coincide with the experimental observations which showed that for bridge inclination of 0o, the coalescence occurred due to shear failure and for bridge inclination of 90o the coalescence occurred due to tensile failure while for the other bridge inclinations coalescence occurred due to mixed tensile and shear failure.