Bidirectional shaking table tests of a low-cost friction sliding system with flat-inclined surfaces

Miguel B. Brito, Mitsuyoshi Akiyama*, Yoshitaka Ichikawa, Hiroki Yamaguchi, Riki Honda, Naomitsu Ishigaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A novel low-cost friction sliding system for bidirectional excitation is developed to improve the seismic performance of reinforced concrete (RC) bridge piers. The sliding system is a spherical prototype developed by combining a central flat surface with an inclined spherical segment, characterized by stable oscillation and a large reduction in response accelerations on the flat surface. The inclined part provides a restoring force that limits the residual displacements of the system. Conventional steel and concrete are employed to construct a flat-inclined spherical surface atop an RC pier. The seismic forces are dissipated through the frictions generated during the sliding movements; hence, the seismic resilience of bridges can be ensured with a low-cost design solution. The proposed system is fabricated utilizing a mold created by a three-dimensional printer, which facilitates the use of conventional concrete to construct spherical shapes. The concrete surface is lubricated with a resin material to prevent abrasion from multiple input ground motions. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the system, bidirectional shaking table tests are conducted in the longitudinal and transverse directions of a scaled bridge model. The effect of the inclination angle and the flat surface size is investigated. The results demonstrate a large decrease in response acceleration when the system exhibits circular sliding displacement. Furthermore, the inclination angle that generates the smallest residual displacement is identified experimentally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-837
Number of pages21
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 10


  • 3D printer
  • RC bridge pier
  • bidirectional motion
  • friction sliding system
  • seismic resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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