Experimental and numerical study on the seismic performance of a self-centering bracing system using closed-loop dynamic (CLD) testing

Anas Salem Issa, M. Shahria Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the seismic performance of a newly developed self-centering bracing system using a novel experimental technique named as closed-loop dynamic (CLD) testing. The bracing, named piston-based self-centering (PBSC) apparatus, employs Ni-Ti superelastic shape memory alloy (SMA) bars inside a sleeve-piston assembly for its self-centering mechanism. During cyclic tension-compression loading, the SMA bars are only subjected to tension avoiding buckling and leading to flag-shaped symmetric force-deformation hysteresis. Initially, a braced frame building fitted with PBSC is seismically designed and the preliminary sizing of the brace is determined. For testing, considering the lab capability, the brace is fabricated at a reduced scale. The process of “Closed-loop dynamic testing” starts with the brace test (step 1) under strain-rate loading to characterize the numerical model parameters (step 2), which are then scaled-up as per similitude law and implemented in a finite element software, S-FRAME's PBSC brace model (step 3). Then the braced frame building is analyzed under an earthquake (step 4) and the axial force-deformation response of the brace under consideration is captured (step 5). In order to further understand and validate the actual response of the brace under earthquake type loading, the axial deformation obtained from S-FRAME is scaled-down (step 6) and used as input parameters for testing the reduced scale brace (step 7). The obtained response (step 8) is further scaled-up and used to match the S-FRAME's PBSC model for validation (step 9). Iterations from step 3 to step 9 will be required until the experimental and numerical results converge. Convergence criteria used for this validation include both the energy dissipation capacity and initial stiffness within 10% accuracy. Reasonable agreement between the numerical and experimental results is achieved in the closed-loop dynamic testing. The PBSC brace shows excellent self-centering capability under various earthquake loadings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-158
Number of pages15
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - Sept 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Closed-loop dynamic (CLD) testing
  • Experimental testing
  • Flag-shaped hysteresis
  • Numerical simulation
  • Seismic
  • Self-centering bracing
  • Shape memory alloy (SMA)
  • Superelastic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Experimental and numerical study on the seismic performance of a self-centering bracing system using closed-loop dynamic (CLD) testing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this