Current Projects

Project Title Improved European Design and Assessment Methods for Concentrically-Braced Frames ‘BRACED Project’
Summary The aim of the research is to investigate the ultimate behaviour of concentrically braced frames (CBFs) through full scale shake table tests at CEA Saclay, France. The seismic performance of these structures is affected by the reduced ductility capacity of hollow section bracing members under low cycle fatigue conditions. In addition, there is a need for improved design and detailing guidance for the gusset-plate connections commonly used in CBFs, especially for the case of out-of-plane buckling. The proposed research will validate recently-developed models for the ductility capacity of hollow section bracing members and recent proposals for the improved detailing of gusset plate connections. It will identify active yield mechanisms and failure modes in member/connection combinations and provide essential data on the earthquake response of European CBFs. The principal outcomes will include measurements of the displacement ductility capacity of the brace specimens; an evaluation of the influence of gusset plate detailing on connection ductility; observations on the contributions of brace and connection yielding to overall inelastic deformation of CBFs; measurements of equivalent viscous damping in CBFs; assessment and improvement of Eurocode 8 design guidance for CBFs; and validation of numerical models.
Duration February 2010 – July 2013
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins; Suhaib Salawdeh (PhD student); Jack English (PhD student)
Other Collaborators This is an EU FP7 project involving partners from Trinity College Dublin (lead), Imperial College London, University of Ljubljana, University of Liège, National University of Ireland Galway, CEA Saclay, France.

Project Title Experimental and numerical seismic analysis of steel gusset plate connections to brace members
Summary The objective of this research project is to investigate the performance of gusset plate connections to brace members under earthquake loading through both physical and numerical modelling. This will lead to improved design provisions in seismic design codes, such as Eurocode 8, for gusset plate connections to brace members.
Duration Sept 2009 – Oct 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI); Jack English (PhD student); Gerard Hynes (Chief Technician); Peter Fahy (Senior Technician); Colm Walsh (Senior Technician)

Project Title Displacement-based seismic design of irregular buildings
Summary This research investigates simulation methods that produce reliable estimates of the design demands on irregular buildings during earthquakes. The research will lead to the development of a simplified displacement-based assessment approach for these systems that can be used by design engineers.
Duration Feb 2010 – Oct 2012
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI); Suhaib Salawdeh (PhD student)

Project Title Self-centring frame structures after earthquake loading
Summary Concentrically braced frames (CBF’s) are a popular lateral loading system used in seismic design of steel. The bracing members in the CBF act as the energy dissipative elements, while other elements remain elastic. This study focuses on minimizing the residual displacements in the CBFs after seismic loading. A self centring (SC) brace will be developed to achieve this and will be modelled for a variety of designs used with CBFs. These models can then be used to formulate a displacement based design (DBD) approach for these systems.
Duration September 2010 – September 2013
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI); Gerard O’Reilly (PhD student)

Recently Completed Projects

Project Title The development of a simplified displacement-based design approach for braced frames
Summary The concept of designing structures to achieve a specified performance limit state defined by strain or drift limits is now well established. In particular, the direct displacement-based design approach has been developed for many structural systems, including frames, cantilevers and coupled walls, dual systems, bridges, wharves, timber structures and seismically isolated structures. This research investigates the performance of a simplified displacement-based design approach for concentrically braced frame (CBF) systems during earthquakes. The performance of the trial DBD methodology is gauged through comparison of design values with experimental results obtained from a series of shake table tests on steel braced frames.
Duration January 2009 – January 2010
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI)
Other Collaborators Tim Sullivan, University of Pavia and the EU Centre, Italy

Project Title Condition monitoring of building structures during earthquakes
Summary The vibrational characteristics of building frames can change during an earthquake due to yielding or damage to structural members or connections. This research investigates condition monitoring of the seismic response of a set of concentrically braced frame systems. In particular, a time-frequency tool based on wavelet analysis is employed to investigate the dynamic responses of concentrically-braced frames displayed in shake table tests. Damage in the form of brace yielding and buckling is detected by comparing table and frame response accelerations using wavelet analysis. This comparison is carried out by examining frequency-banded wavelet coefficients of the ground motion and elastic/inelastic frame response, and by evaluating the corresponding energy contributions of the different frequency bands. Furthermore, a wavelet-based equivalent linearisation technique is employed to determine the temporal equivalent natural frequencies of the frames throughout the response.
Duration January 2009 – January 2010
NUIG Research Team Dr. Jamie Goggins (PI)
Other Collaborators Prof. Brian Broderick, Trinity College Dublin