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A dedicated resource for engineers, students, scientists, and researchers about the advancements inherent in the Applied Element Method (AEM) fully nonlinear 3-D dynamic numerical analysis.

The Applied Element Method (AEM) of numerical analysis. AEM, is a new method of analysis combines traits of both the Finite Element Method (FEM) and the Discrete Element Method (DEM).  Simply said, while FEM can be accurate until element separation and DEM can be used while elements are separated, AEM is capable of automatically simulating through separation of elements to collapse and debris prediction.  With more than two decades of continuous research and development AEM has been proven to be the only method that can track structural collapse behavior passing through all stages of loading; elastic, crack initiation and propagation in tension-weak materials, reinforcement yielding, element separation, element collision (contact), and collision with the ground and adjacent structures.

Reliability of collapse simulation – Comparing finite and applied element method at different levels

Reliability of collapse simulation – Comparing finite and applied element method at different levels

Numerical prediction of progressive collapse of buildings due to extreme loading is still a challenging task. However, increased computational power makes it nowadays possible to analyze not only small-scale connections and mid-size building elements, but also full buildings with considerable height and complexity. The present paper compares the results of Finite Element Method (FEM) and Applied Element Method (AEM) simulations to experimental results when performing blast or earthquake analysis on those three scales. The aim is to highlight which level of physical detail and complexity is required to predict progressive collapse numerically, and which level of accuracy can be expected. For the full scale level, the progressive collapse of the Pyne Gould Corporation Building in Christchurch, New Zealand, was simulated and compared to the final collapse shape. It is shown that the FEM is able to predict the structural response of small scale models well, but fails to achieve realistic collapsed shapes in case of the large structure, whereas the AEM shows convincing results in all cases.

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Research and Practice on Progressive Collapse and Robustness of Building Structures in the 21st Century

Research and Practice on Progressive Collapse and Robustness of Building Structures in the 21st Century

Extreme events (i.e. terrorist attacks, vehicle impacts, explosions, etc.) often cause local damage to building structures and pose a serious threat when one or more vertical load-bearing components fail, leading to the progressive collapse of the entire structure or a large part of it. Since the beginning of the 21st century there has been growing interest in the risks associated with extreme events, especially after the attacks on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma in 1995 and on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001. The accent is now on achieving resilient buildings that can remain operational after such an event, especially when they form part of critical infrastructures, are occupied by a large number of people, or are open to the public. This paper presents an ambitious review that describes all the main advances that have taken place since the beginning of the 21st century in the field of progressive collapse and robustness of buildings.

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Seismic Vulnerability Assessment Of “Sion Cathedral” (Switzerland): An Integrated Approach To Detect And Evaluate Local Collapse Mechanisms In Heritage Buildings

Seismic assessment of existing heritage buildings remains a challenging task. There is a high level of complexity and uncertainty compared with the assessment of standard buildings. Heritage masonry churches are usually prone to partial collapses during earthquake due to local loss of stability, and exhibit particular seismic vulnerabilities. An important step in the seismic analysis of heritage masonry buildings is the detection of local mechanisms. The Italian Building Code provides a simplified approach (LV1-churches) to assess the vulnerability of heritage churches evaluating and comparing 28 potential mechanisms. A general index of vulnerability and hierarchy between mechanisms is thereby provided. Verification of safety against local mechanisms can also be carried out using the kinematic approach. This procedure is based on evaluating the horizontal action needed to activate out-of-plane collapse mechanisms. Based on a full-scale study (Sion Cathedral), this paper evaluates the reliability of the “LV1-church” approach and of the kinematic approach through a comparison with the results obtained with a complex 3D model using the Applied Element Method.

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Usefulness of ambient-vibration measurements for seismic assessment of existing structures

A large number of buildings in regions with low to medium seismic hazard have been designed without considering earthquake actions. Retrofitting of all buildings that fail to meet modern code requirements is economically, technically and environmentally unsustainable. Decision-making regarding retrofitting necessity and prioritization is complex. Ambient vibrations are non-destructive and easy to measure, and thus an attractive data source. However, ambient vibrations have very low amplitudes, which potentially lead to sensitivity to testing conditions and stiffness contributions from non-structural elements. Seismic assessment necessitates non-linear behavior extrapolation from linear measurements, which results in biased model predictions.

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Seismic Assessment of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in Canada

Unreinforced masonry (URM) structures have shown to be susceptible to significant damage during strong earthquakes. Vulnerability assessment of URM buildings is needed so that appropriate mitigation strategies can be implemented. The existing Canadian practice consists of rapid seismic screening of buildings to assign priorities for further and more refined assessments, followed by refined analysis of individual critical buildings.

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Numerical Simulation of Polypropylene and Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composite Retrofitted Masonry Walls

In this study, an attempt is made to numerically simulate the behavior of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) and Polypropylene (PP) band composite using the Applied Element Method (AEM). Both of these materials have their own unique properties. FRP is used to increase the strength, whereas PP-band is used to increase the deformation capacity and energy dissipation capacity of masonry wall system.

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3-D Applied Element Method for Static Non-Linear Simulation of PP-band Retrofitted Masonry

Masonry, through its long history, is widespread used around the world and still remains a main building material in many places especially developing countries. However a poorly designed masonry is known as brittle and susceptible to the earthquake. To improve their seismic capacity, polypropylene band retrofitting technique method was purposed base on economic point of view and local availability of material and skilled labor. In this study, we proposed 3-D Applied Element Method as analysis tools to help understanding the polypropylene band retrofitted masonry behavior which will be benefit in the future design process. Unlike the previous version, 3-D Applied Element Method elements can be any rectangular prism which helps reducing the number of elements.

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Seismic Assessment of Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in Canada

Unreinforced masonry (URM) structures have shown to be susceptible to significant damage during strong earthquakes. Vulnerability assessment of URM buildings is needed so that appropriate mitigation strategies can be implemented. The existing Canadian practice consists of rapid seismic screening of buildings to assign priorities for further and more refined assessments, followed by refined analysis of individual critical buildings.

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Design and Assessment of Reinforced Concrete Columns in Uplift due to Internal Building Detonations

Current research with respect to the protection of civilian infrastructure against complex blast loading conditions is primarily focused towards the effect of external explosive sources. As a consequence, the general literature on internal building detonations and specifically in the context of protective design and assessment of structures against these loading conditions is incomplete. Existing guidelines developed for comparatively noncomplex external explosive blast remain unconservative when applied to internal building detonations due to blast wave confinement and complex interaction with structural components. In particular, reinforced concrete (RC) columns in internal blast environments are subjected to time-variant uplift forces coupled with lateral pressures leading to destabilisation and a critical loss of structural integrity. Research presented in this thesis provides an original understanding towards: (i) – the influence of transient uplift forces on the vulnerability of RC columns subject to lateral blast pressures and, (ii) – design and assessment of RC columns against the effect of time-variant coupled uplift and lateral blast pressures due to internal building detonations.

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