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Low-Damage Friction Connections in Hybrid Joints of Frames of Reinforced-Concrete Buildings


Seismic-resilient buildings are increasingly designed following low-damage and free-from-damage design strategies that aim to protect the structure’s primary load-bearing systems under ultimate-level seismic loads. With this scope, damping devices are located in accessible and easy-to-inspect sites within the main structural frames where the damage concentrates, allowing the primary structure to remain mostly undamaged or easily repairable after a severe earthquake. This paper analyses the effects of friction-damping devices in structural joints of RC buildings endowed with hybrid steel-trussed concrete beams (HSTCBs) and standard RC columns. The study proposes innovative solutions to be adopted into RC moment-resisting frames (MRFs) at beam-to-column connections (BCCs) and column-base connections (CBCs). The cyclic behaviour of the joint is analysed through 3D finite element models, while pushover and non-linear time history analyses are performed on simple two-storey and two-span MRFs endowed with the proposed devices. The main results show that the BCC endowed with curved slotted holes and Perfobond connectors is the most effective in preventing the damage that might occur in beam, column, and joint, and it is adequate to guarantee good dissipative properties. For CBCs, the results showed that the re-centering system with friction pads is the most effective in containing the peak and residual drifts, preventing the plasticization of the column base.