New Methods for Progressive Collapse Testing and Simulation


Vaughan, D., Milner, D., & Gran, J. (2011). New methods for progressive collapse testing and simulation. In Structures Congress 2011 (pp. 2358-2369).


A number of analytic tools have been applied to or developed for progressive collapse modeling. However, the lack of relevant experimental test data makes it difficult to validate these tools or identify which aspects of the modeling approaches or software formulations may need additional refinement. The cost of full scale testing to validate these analytical tools is extraordinarily expensive due to the physical size of the structures that need to be tested and the range of phenomenology that needs to be investigated. This paper investigates the use of small scale building models, which can be tested in a centrifuge to provide properly scaled gravitational loads, for studying progressive collapse of damaged buildings. For this effort, a reinforced concrete building (3-bay x 4-bay, 4-story) was designed, constructed at 1/18th scale and tested in a centrifuge while several ground floor support columns were dynamically removed. The test data, including overall collapse response, were compared with the results of pretest analyses performed using a high fidelity, explicit finite element code. This testing effort was designed to contribute to improved validation of simulation tools for progressive collapse modeling.

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