An Experimental and Analytical Investigation of Floor Vibrations


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Virginia Tech


Several areas of research regarding floor vibrations were studied during the process of this research. A basic literature review of previous work in the field of floor vibrations is presented along with a summary of the study.

The first area of study involved a comparison of finite element models with field tests for a suspended floor system. The suspended floor system underwent several retrofits to determine which retrofit reduced annoying vibrations the most. Comparisons were also made to see how well a finite element model could be used to predict the effectiveness of the retrofits. The attempt to make accurate finite element models was successful.

The second area of study involved an experimental modal analysis (EMA). The experimental mode shape was compared with that from the finite element model (FEM). The research done in this area of study also involved measuring damping for a suspended floor system. The floor system was also subjected to a known input force and the response of the system was compared to the theoretical response based on the finite element model and the hand calculations prescribed by AISC Design Guide 11–Floor Vibrations Due to Human Activity (Murray et al., 1997). The findings helped provide useful information for the third area of study.

The third area of this study focused on finding a method for performing a quick and inexpensive field test on a floor system to determine its acceptability. No good method found.

The fourth area of this study was to find a way to accurately model complex floor systems with finite element modeling programs. Previous research yielded good results in the area of frequency prediction. However, the main focus of this study was to find a way to accurately predict peak acceleration of a complex floor system. This portion of research did not find a way to model complex floor systems in a finite element program for producing accurate peak accelerations. However, the source of error between the finite element program and the hand calculations was accurately defined.



Structural Engineering, Floor Vibrations, Civil Engineering