Dharma T.R. Pasala; Apostolos A. Sarlis, S.M.ASCE; Andrei M. Reinhorn, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE; Satish Nagarajaiah, Ph.D., F.SEI, M.ASCE; Michael Constantinou, Ph.D., M.ASCE; and Douglas P. Taylor, A.M.ASCE are the recipients of the Moisseiff Award for their paper “Simulated Bilinear-Elastic Behavior in a SDOF Elastic Structure Using Negative Stiffness Device: Experimental and Analytical Study,” which was published in the February 2014 issue of ASCE’s Journal of Structural Engineering.
The Moisseiff Award is given to the author or authors of an important paper published by the Society dealing with the broad field of structural design, including applied mechanics, as well as the theoretical analysis or construction improvement of engineering structures, such as bridges and frames, of any structural material.
The paper presents the results of an academic/industry collaboration, with authors on both fronts, lending the study significant practical as well as theoretical value. Previous research by the authors had shown that negative stiffness devices (NSDs) can be made to exhibit nonlinear-elastic negative stiffness behavior. As such, the paper hypothesized that adding NSDs to an elastic structure can cause the resulting structure-device assembly to behave like a bilinear-elastic structure, with corresponding improvements in structural response parameters, such as base shear and peak accelerations. Using detailed analytical and experimental studies (including shake-table testing), the authors confirmed this concept. In particular, they showed that installing NSDs on a multistory frame had substantial advantages.
The results of this paper have great practical significance in the field of earthquake engineering because they provide designers with information to support a key design paradigm: design elastic structures that behave in a nonlinear manner. Elastic structures do not suffer permanent damage in a seismic event, increasing their resilience in the face of strong seismic events, while taking advantage of nonlinear response reduces key response parameters.