FEA-VR System for In-Door Non-structural Components under Seismic Excitations


Non-structural components such as furniture, ceilings and lightings show different behaviours during earthquakes depending on the seismic waves, floor heights, friction coefficients of floors, and locations of other objects in the vicinity. These conditions may vary in each situation and it is very difficult for people to understand and apply appropriate anti-seismic means to those components around them. On the other hand, installation of expanded polystyrene (EPS) blocks on the walls of neighbouring buildings has been proposed to mitigate such damage to in-door non-structural components as well as to structural members. It was confirmed from the finite element analysis (FEA) using the adaptively shifted integration (ASI) – Gauss code that when EPS blocks were installed, the peak of acceleration at the time of collision and the ratio of yielded members to all structural members were reduced in both neighbouring buildings.

This study aims to construct an effective FEA and virtual reality (VR) system to simulate and visualize the behaviours of in-door non-structural components under seismic excitations, by using an integrated model of non-structural components and buildings. The effect of EPS blocks as shock absorbers was investigated by placing the components on different floors and by investigating the behaviours through the VR system constructed using the Unity software. Contact between buildings was simulated based upon an elemental contact algorithm implementing gap elements, while frictional contact between non-structural components was fully considered by employing a sophisticated penalty method.

The numerical results of seismic motion analyses had shown a clear difference of in-door damage between a single building model and two building models with different heights standing right next to each other. Also, the in-door damage between those models with and without EPS blocks in between were compared. The results will be shown by VR images in the presentation.