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Title:Multi-axial real-time hybrid simulation framework for testing nonlinear structure systems with multiple boundary interfaces
Author(s):Najafi, Mir Amirali
Director of Research:Spencer Jr., Billie F
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Spencer Jr., Billie F
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Dyke, Shirley J; Kwon, Oh-Sung; Fahnestock, Larry A; Bergman, Lawrence A
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Hybrid simulation
multi-axial testing
nonlinear dynamics
earthquake engineering
natural hazards
shake tables
servo-hydraulic actuators
real-time testing
Abstract:Hybrid simulation is a widely accepted laboratory testing approach that partitions a proposed structure into numerical and physical substructures, for a space- and cost-effective testing method. Structural elements that are expected to remain in the linear elastic range are usually modeled numerically, while computationally intractable nonlinear elements are tested physically. The loads and conditions at the boundaries between the numerical and physical substructures are imposed by servo-hydraulic actuators, with the responses measured by load cells and displacement transducers. Traditionally, these actuators impose boundary condition displacements at slow speeds, while damping and inertial components for the physical specimen are numerically calculated. This slow application of the boundary conditions neglects the rate-dependent behavior of the physical specimen. Real-time hybrid simulation (RTHS) is an alternative to slow speed hybrid simulation approach, where the responses of the numerical substructure are calculated and imposed on the physical substructure at real-world natural hazard excitation speeds. Damping, inertia, and rate-dependent material effects are incorporated in the physical substructure as a result of real-time testing. For a general substructure, the boundary interface has six degrees-of-freedom (DOF); therefore, an actuation system that can apply multi-axial loads is required. In these experiments, the boundary conditions at the interface between the physical and numerical substructures are imposed by two or more actuators. Significant dynamic coupling can be present between the actuators in such setups. Kinematic transformations are required for the operation of each actuator to achieve desired boundary conditions. Furthermore, each actuator possesses inherent dynamics that need appropriate compensation to ensure an accurate and stable operation. Most existing RTHS applications to date have involved the substructuring of the reference structures into numerical and physical components at a single interface with a one-DOF boundary condition and force imposed and measured. Multi-DOF boundary conditions have been explored in a few applications; however a general six-DOF stable implementation has never been achieved. A major research gap in the RTHS domain is the development of a multi-axial RTHS framework capable of handling six DOF boundary conditions and forces, as well as the presence of multiple physical specimens and numerical-to-physical interfaces. In this dissertation, a multi-axial real-time hybrid simulation (maRTHS) framework is developed for realistic nonlinear dynamic assessment of structures under natural hazard excitation. The framework is comprised of numerical and physical substructures, actuator-dynamics compensation, and kinematic transformations between Cartesian and actuator/transducer coordinates. The numerical substructure is compiled on a real-time embedded system, comprised of a microcontroller setup, with onboard memory and processing, that computes the response of finite element models of the structural system, which are then communicated with the hardware setup via the input-output peripherals. The physical substructure is composed of a multi-actuator boundary condition box, loadcells, displacement transducers, and one or more physical specimens. The proposed compensation is a model-based strategy based on the linearized identified models of individual actuators. The concepts of the model-based compensation approach are first validated in a shake table study, and then applied to single and multi-axis RTHS developments. The capabilities of the proposed maRTHS framework are demonstrated via the multi-axial load and boundary condition boxes (LBCBs) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, via two illustrative examples. First, the maRTHS algorithm including the decoupled controller, and kinematic transformation processes are validated. In this study, a moment frame structure is partitioned into numerical beam-column finite element model, and a physical column with an LBCB boundary condition. This experiment is comprised of six DOFs and excitation is only applied in the plane of the moment frame. Next, the maRTHS framework is subjected to a more sophisticated testing environment involving a multi-span curved bridge structure. In this second example, two LBCBs are utilized for testing of two physical piers, and excitation is applied bi-directionally. Results from the illustrative examples are verified against numerical simulations. The results demonstrate the accuracy and promising nature of the proposed state-of-the-art framework for maRTHS for nonlinear dynamic testing of structural systems using multiple boundary points.
Issue Date:2021-01-28
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Mir Amirali Najafi
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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