Cyclic testing of scaled three-story special concentrically braced frame with strongback column

Chui-Hsin Chen*, Yi-Rung Tsai, Yao Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For Special Concentrically Braced Frame (SCBF), it is common that the damage concentrates at a certain story instead of spreading over all stories. Once the damage occurs, the soft-story mechanism is likely to take place and possibly to result in the failure of the whole system with more damage accumulation. In this study, we use a strongback column which is an additional structural component extending along the height of the building, to redistribute the excessive deformation of SCBF and activate more structural members to dissipate energy and thus avoid damage concentration and improve the seismic performance of SCBF. We tested one-third-scaled, three-story, double-story X SCBF specimens with static cyclic loading procedure. Three specimens, namely S73, S42 and S0, which represent different combinations of stiffness and strength factors a and beta for the strongback columns, were designed based on results of numerical simulations. Specimens S73 and S42 were the specimens with the strongback columns, and SO is the specimen without the strongback column. Test results show that the deformation distribution of Specimen S73 is more uniform and more brace members in three stories perform nonlinearly. Comparing Drift Concentration Factor (DCF), we can observe 29% and 11% improvement in Specimen S73 and S42, respectively. This improvement increases the nonlinear demand of the third-story braces and reduces that of the first-story braces where the demand used to be excessive, and, therefore, postpones the rupture of the first-story braces and enhances the ductility and energy dissipation capacity of the whole SCBF system.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)163-173
Number of pages11
JournalEarthquake and Structures
Issue number2
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2019


  • special concentrically braced frame
  • soft story
  • strongback column
  • static cyclic loading
  • drift concentration factor
  • energy dissipation capacity


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