Seismic assessment of bridge structures isolated by a shape memory alloy/rubber-based isolation system Academic Article uri icon


  • This paper explores the effectiveness of shape memory alloy (SMA)/rubber-based isolation systems for seismic protection of bridges against near-field earthquakes by performing a sensitivity analysis. The isolation system considered in this study consists of a laminated rubber bearing, which provides lateral flexibility while supplying high vertical load-carrying capacity, and an auxiliary device made of multiple loops of SMA wires. The SMA device offers additional energy dissipating and re-centering capability. A three-span continuous bridge is modeled with the SMA/rubber-based (SRB) isolation system. Numerical simulations of the bridge are conducted for various near-field ground motions that are spectrally matched to a target design spectrum. The normalized forward transformation strength, forward transformation displacement and pre-strain level of the SMA device, ambient temperature and the lateral stiffness of the rubber bearings are selected as parameters of the sensitivity study. The variation of the seismic response of the bridge with the considered parameters is assessed. Also, the performance of the SRB isolation system with optimal design parameters is compared with an SMA-based sliding isolation system. The results indicate that the SRB isolation system can successfully reduce the seismic response of highway bridges; however, a smart isolation system that combines sliding bearings together with an SMA device is more efficient than the SRB isolation system.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Ozbulut, O. E., & Hurlebaus, S.

citation count

  • 84

complete list of authors

  • Ozbulut, Osman E||Hurlebaus, Stefan

publication date

  • January 2011