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Importance of Experimental Loading Protocols in Developing ASCE 41-17 Backbone Curves



Bruce F. Maison, Matthew Speicher


ASCE 41 component backbone curves are typically based on envelopes of data from lab tests of specimens subjected to simulated seismic demands. Prior editions of ASCE 41 required loading protocols having fully-reversed cyclic loading at increasing displacement levels. Such protocols do not necessarily reflect earthquake response patterns and can result in overly conservative component backbone curves that underestimate actual component ductility. The new ASCE 41-17 provides additional freedom in protocol selection to better reflect realistic seismic demands. Ideal protocols could include combinations of monotonic and one-sided cyclic loading patterns. Protocols are suggested based on statistics of simulated building response from case studies using two buildings subjected to suites of earthquake records. A maximum considered earthquake (MCE) loading protocol was developed based on 2,475 year earthquake record suites for Los Angeles and Seattle. A greater-than-MCE loading protocol was developed using ground motions from several great subduction earthquakes (Mw > 8) that exhibit long duration characteristics. The latter protocol may be considered as a worst case loading scenario.
Conference Dates
June 25-29, 2018
Conference Location
Los Angeles, CA, US
Conference Title
Eleventh U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering


seismic, performance-based design, earthquake engineering


Maison, B. and Speicher, M. (2018), Importance of Experimental Loading Protocols in Developing ASCE 41-17 Backbone Curves, Eleventh U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Los Angeles, CA, US (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created June 24, 2018, Updated October 12, 2021