ATLSS Report No. 10-06:
Self-centering steel concentrically braced frames (SC-CBFs) are being studied as part of an
ongoing research program on self-centering seismic-resistant structural systems. This research
was conducted at Lehigh University in collaboration with Princeton University and Purdue
University under the NSF-funded NEESR program. Self-centering systems make strategic use
of post-tensioned interfaces between main structural elements to create joints which open under
seismic loading. The opening of gaps at these critical joints significantly increases the lateral
drift capacity of the structure without causing serious damage to the main structural members.
Previous self-centering systems studied include unbonded post-tensioned precast concrete walls,
unbonded post-tensioned precast concrete frames, and self-centering moment resisting frames
with post-tensioned connections. The research showed that these systems could withstand the
design basis earthquake loading without significant damage to the main structural members and
with minimal residual drift.
The current research on SC-CBFs includes analytical parametric studies of a prototype structure
designed for a site in Los Angeles, and the development of a reliability-based, performance-
based design procedure for SC-CBFs. The research also features experimental testing of a 0.6-
scale, four story SC-CBF at the NSF NEES RTMD Earthquake Simulation Facility at the
ATLSS Engineering Research Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. This report
focuses on the performance-based design, experimental setup, material testing and stiffness testing of the 0.6-scale SC-CBF test structure.
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Brent Chancellor; ; Richard Sause; James Michael Ricles; David Roke (2013), "Design, Experimental Setup, and Testing of a Self-Centering Steel Concentrically-Braced Frame Test Structure," https://nees.org/resources/6729.