Large-scale experimental investigation of a low-cost PVC ‘sand-wich’ (PVC-s) seismic isolation for developing countries

Anastasios Tsiavos, Anastasios Sextos, Andreas Stavridis, Matt Dietz, Luiza Dihoru, Nicholas A Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)
266 Downloads (Pure)


This study presents a large-scale experimental investigation on the seismic
performance of an innovative, low-cost seismic isolation system for developing
countries. It is based on the beneficial effect of the encapsulation of sand grains
between two PVC surfaces on the initiation of sliding and the dissipation of seismic energy between the surfaces. A three-times scaled down, idealized, seismically isolated model of a prototype single-story structure located in Nepal is subjected to an ensemble of recorded earthquake ground motion excitations. The experimentally derived response of the seismically isolated structure is compared with the response of the corresponding fixed-base structure. This system is part of a wider hybrid design approach where the structure is designed to resist the seismic forces at the design acceleration level. The seismic isolation system sets an upper bound to the response of the structure for ground motion excitations exceeding the design level.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalEarthquake Spectra
Early online date25 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Jul 2020


  • PVC sand-wich
  • low-cost seismic isolation
  • large-scale shaking table investigation
  • seismic damage mitigation
  • developing countries
  • hybrid design approach


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