A Computational Tool for Real-Time Hybrid Simulation of Seismically-Excited Steel Frame Structures

July 30, 2013
Publication: Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering - ASCE, online preprint
Author(s): Nestor Castaneda Aguilar Gao, Xiuyu Li Dyke, Shirley J.

Abstract: Real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) offers an economical and reliable methodology for testing integrated structural systems with rate dependent behaviors. Within a RTHS implementation, critical components of the structural system under evaluation are physically tested, while more predictable components are replaced with computational models under a one-to-one time scale execution. As a result, RTHS implementations provide a more economical and versatile alternate approach to evaluating structural / rate-dependent systems under actual dynamic and inertial conditions, without the need for full-scale structural testing. One significant challenge in RTHS is the accurate representation of the physical complexities within the computational counterparts. for RTHS, the requirement for computational environments with reliable modeling and real-time execution capabilities is critical. Additionally, the need of a flexible environment for implementation and easy integration of such platforms with remaining RTHS components has also been established. An open-source computational platform, RT-Frame2D, for the RTHS of dynamically-excited steel frame structures has been developed to satisfy these demands. The computational platform includes both adequate modeling capabilities for the nonlinear dynamic analysis of steel frame structures under real-time execution, and a versatile design to allow its efficient integration within a RTHS framework. Comparisons of RT-Frame2D modeling capabilities with those of a well-known simulation tool, in addition to challenging experimental implementations based on several RTHS scenarios are performed herein to verify the accuracy, stability and real-time execution performance of the proposed computational platform.