Welcome to Applied Element Method.com

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.

Evaluation of the Seismic Retrofitting of an Unreinforced Masonry building using Numerical Modeling and Ambient Vibration Measurements

Ambient vibration measurements and 3-D nonlinear time-history numerical modeling are used to assess the retrofitting measures conducted in a 6-story unreinforced masonry building (URM) built in the end of the 19th century in Switzerland. Retrofitting measures were taken in order to improve the soundproofing and possibly the seismic performance of the building. Reinforced concrete (RC) footings were added under the walls and horizontal steel beams were added to link the walls together with a RC slab at each floor, though the wooden beams were left in place. Several ambient vibration recordings were performed before, during and after the retrofitting work in order to monitor the evolution of the dynamic behavior of the structure. Moreover, numerical models representing the state of the building before and after the retrofit work have been developed to perform nonlinear dynamic analyses using various ground motion records.

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more

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.

read more
Translate »