Seismic Performance of multi-component systems in special risk Industrial Facilities

Short description

The objective of the project is the holistic investigation of the seismic behavior of industrial plants equipped with complex process technology by means of shaking table tests. The necessity exists, since past earthquakes have shown that critical interactions can occur in these plants between the supporting structure and plant components, but also between the individual plant components. The structural or process-related interactions can lead to serious secondary damages, which, in addition to loss of production, also pose a danger to humans and the environment if hazardous substances are released due to leakages. The proposed structure is a three-storey steel moment frame with vertical and horizontal vessels, arranged on the three levels with some of them connected to each other by pipes. Both firmly anchored and isolated components are taken into account to compare their dynamic behavior and interactions with each other. Furthermore an electrical cabinet and a typical pumping station are installed. The three levels are constructed with flexible diaphragm made of steel gratings. Optional bracing systems are applied to change the stiffness distribution and to cover the effects of eccentricities. Furthermore the effectiveness of two base isolation systems will be investigated. The test structure will be equipped with sensor systems integrated into the test structure for rapid damage assessment applicable for condition analyses or early warning systems. The achieved results on the seismic behavior of multi-component systems with mutual interactions can be used for probabilistic safety analyses in power plants (e.g. nuclear power plants) as well as in industrial plants (e.g. chemical plants). In addition, important findings can be derived for the definition of performance limits, the isolation of structural systems and components and the use of sensor systems for rapid damage assessment. All results can be incorporated into the European standardization process.

Research program

SERA - Seismology and Earthquake Engineering Research Infrastructure Alliance for Europe


  • Center for Wind and Earthquake Engineering (CWE), RWTH Aachen – Germany
  • National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) – Greece
  • University of Belgrade (UBEL) – Serbia
  • Swissnuclear (SWISSN) – Switzerland
  • Wölfel Engineering GmbH (WE) – Germany
  • University of Trento – Italy (UNIT)
  • Maurer Engineering GmbH – Germany
  • Roma TRE University (URTRE) – Italy
  • Purdure University (PU) – USA

Duration of project

03 / 2019 – 03 / 2020

Contact person

Marius Pinkawa
Benno Hoffmeister