Performance evaluation of shape memory alloy/rubber-based isolation systems for seismic response mitigation of bridges Conference Paper uri icon


  • Base isolation is an effective method of reducing seismic response of bridges during an earthquake. Rubber isolators are one of the most common types of base isolation systems. As an alternative to conventional rubber isolators such as high damping rubber bearing and lead rubber bearing, smart rubber bearing systems with shape memory alloys (SMAs) have been proposed in recent years. As a class of smart materials, shape memory alloys shows excellent re-centering and considerable damping capabilities which can be exploited to obtain an efficient seismic isolation system. This paper explores effectiveness of shape memory alloy/rubber-based isolation systems for protecting bridges against seismic loads 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 SMA wires. The SMA device offers additional energy dissipating and re-centering capability. A threespan continuous bridge is modeled with SMA/rubber-based isolation system. Numerical simulations of the bridge are conducted for various historical ground motions that are spectrally matched to a target design spectrum. The normalized yield strength, yield displacement and pre-stress level of the SMA device and ambient temperature are selected as parameters of the sensitivity study. The variation of seismic response of the bridge with considered parameters is assessed. The optimum values of the normalized yield strength and the yield displacement of the SMA device is found to be in the range of 0.20-0.25 and 40-50 mm, respectively. Also, the SMA/rubber-based isolation system is observed to be more effective when the SMA device is pre-stressed. In addition, it is found that ambient temperature considerably affects the performance of the bridge isolated by SMA/rubber-based isolators. 2010 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.

name of conference

  • Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2010

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Ozbulut, O. E., & Hurlebaus, S.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Ozbulut, Osman E||Hurlebaus, Stefan

editor list (cited editors)

  • Tomizuka, M.

publication date

  • March 2010