Journal article

Seismic performance of a steel moment-resisting frame subject to strength and ductility uncertainty

The reliable estimation of the seismic performance of structures requires quantifying the aleatory and epistemic uncertainties of the system parameters. This is efficiently achieved for a case study of a four-story steel moment-resisting frame through several important advances. First, a state-of-the-art numerical model is formed with full spatial parameterization of its strength and plastic deformation properties. Empirical relationships derived from experimental data are used to model the cyclic behavior of steel sections using probabilistically distributed parameters that include intra- and inter-component correlation. Finally, incremental dynamic analysis and Monte Carlo simulation are employed to accurately assess the seismic performance of the model under the influence of uncertainties. Of interest is the extent to which model parameter uncertainties may trigger negative demand-capacity correlation in structural fragility evaluation, where, for example, a lower ductility capacity for a component may decrease the threshold for local failure while at the same time raising the local demand estimate from an uncertainty-aware model. With respect to the examined steel moment-resisting frame and considering three construction quality levels (i.e. very good, average, low) as per FEMA P-58, it is shown that, despite the good agreement of the evaluated structural demands obtained with and without consideration of the model parameter uncertainties for well-designed modern buildings, the potential demand-capacity correlation is likely to give rise to unconservative estimates of fragility for local damage-states, especially in cases where substandard quality control is exercised during construction. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


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