Investigation of the Structural Fuse Concept
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Passive energy dissipation (PED devices have been implemented to enhance structural performance by reducing seismically induced structural damage. In this paper metallic dampers are defined to be structural fuses (SF) when they are designed such that all damage is concentrated on the PED devices, allowing the primary structure to remain elastic. Following a damaging earthquake, only the dampers would need to be replaced, making repair works easier and more expedient. Furthermore, SF introduce self-centering capabilities to the structure in that, once the ductile fuse devices have been removed, the elastic structure would return to its original position. A comprehensive parametric study is conducted leading to the formulation of the SF concept, and allowing to identify the possible combinations of key parameters essential to ensure adequate seismic for SF systems. Nonlinear time history analyses are conducted for several combinations of parameters, in order to cover the range of feasible designs. The structural fuse concept can be implemented in new or existing structures using various kinds of metallic passive energy dissipating (PED) elements. This paper describes how to use metallic dampers to implement the SF concept and improve the structural behavior of systems under seismic loads. Detailed design process is presented, as well as the modifications necessary to the process for retrofitting applications.