Influence of earthquake rotational components on the seismic safety of steel structures

Nikos Pnevmatikos, Foteini Konstandakopoulou, Georgios Papagiannopoulos, George Hatzigeorgiou*, Georgios Papavasileiou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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In this work a seismic analysis of structure associated with the complete description of ground motion components is performed. All earthquake excitation components corresponding to the six degrees of freedom, translational and rotational ones need to be taken into account for a realistic simulation of structural performance. The impact of the rotational components of an earthquake to the overall response of a steel structure is examined. Typically, in response to the history analyses, the seismic input is descripted by its translational component only, while the rotational components are ignored. This is because the rotational component requires special devices to be recorded in adequate detail. This is one of the reasons why this component is often ignored. With the currently available technology, such an instrument can be constructed and provide detailed records that can be used for the response history analysis of structures. The applicable design codes using a simplified response spectrum analysis accounting for rotational components is proposed and elastic design response spectra are introduced. Another reason why the rotational component was not taken into account in structural analysis is that it does not have significant effect on low-rise buildings. In this work, the analysis results in terms of response and internal forces when accounting for the rotational component is demonstrated. A case study on the response history analysis of symmetrical and non-symmetrical steel structures subjected to earthquake excitation with and without the rotational component of the excitation was performed. Numerical results show that the influence of the rotational component on the structural behaviour is important and should be taken into account in the design process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • rotational components
  • seismic design
  • seismic safety
  • earthquake engineering
  • steel structure
  • EC8 part 6
  • vibrations


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