Jul 2011

Development of a Self-Centering Buckling Restrained Brace

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The project led by Larry Fahnestock at the University of Illinois, involves the investigation of the the seismic behavior and performance of self-centering buckling-restrained braces (SC-BRBs). A SC-BRB consists of a typical BRB component, which provides energy dissipation, and pre-tensioned superelastic NiTi shape memory alloy (SMA) rods, which provide self-centering. The SMA rods are attached to the BRB portion of the brace using a set of concentric tubes and free-floating end plates that cause the SMA rods to elongate when the brace is in both tension and compression. Half-scale SC-BRBs were designed and fabricated and their hysteretic response was examined by subjecting them to a cyclic loading protocol.  The results of the experiments were used to validate a SC-BRB numerical model, which is used to conduct further parametric studies of SC-BRB behavior and to perform system studies of concentrically-braced frames with SC-BRBs.


Miller, D. J., Fahnestock, L. A., and Eatherton, M.R. (2011) “Development and Experimental Validation of a Nickel-Titanium Shape Memory Alloy Self-Centering Buckling-Restrained Brace” Engineering Structures, Vol. 40, pp. 288-298.

Miller, D., Fahnestock, L., and Eatherton, M. “Seismic behavior and performance of self-centering buckling-restrained braces” Proceedings of the Behaviour of Steel Structures in Seismic Areas Conference (STESSA), January 9-11, 2012.

Miller, D. J., Fahnestock, L. A., and Eatherton, M.R. “Self-Centering Buckling-Restrained Braces for Advanced Seismic Performance” ASCE / SEI Structures Congress, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 14-16, 2011.

Fahnestock, L.A., Miller, D.J., and Eatherton, M.R. “Innovative Self-Centering Braces for Advanced Seismic Performance” Engineering for Sustainability and Prosperity Conference by the NSF Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Atlanta, GA, January 4-7, 2011.

Eatherton, M.R., Fahnestock, L.A., and Miller, D.J. (2014) “Self-Centering Buckling Restrained Brace Development and Application for Seismic Response Mitigation” Submitted for the Proceedings of the 10th National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, July 21-25 2014, Anchorage Alaska.