Nonlinear dynamics of self-centring rocking steel frames using finite element models

L. T. Kibriya, C. Málaga-Chuquitaype*, M. M. Kashani, N. A. Alexander

*Corresponding author for this work

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

30 Citations (Scopus)


Rocking post-tensioned steel frames capitalise on the use of rocking joints, and unbonded post-tensioning strands to provide self-centring action. Investigations on the complex and unconventional nonlinear dynamics of tied rocking steel frames, exclusive of supplemental damping methods, are presently limited. Increasing levels of energy-dissipation reduce the probability of observing nonlinear dynamic phenomena such as co-existing (high/low) amplitude responses at and around the system's nonlinear resonance. To this end, a finite element (FE) modelling framework is presented, validated and extended to multi-storey steel buildings. It is shown that the simulation strategies proposed enable an accurate representation of the complex nonlinear dynamics of self-centring structures, over a wide range of excitation frequencies and amplitudes. The methodology, applied to multi-storey steel frames, captures the presence of sub-harmonic resonances and higher-modes. It is also demonstrated that the additional demands observed in the rocking columns are the consequence of the asymmetry of the member boundary conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-837
Number of pages12
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Early online date29 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Finite-element
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Post-tensioned moment frame
  • Rocking
  • Self-centring


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