Dimensional analysis of yielding and pounding structures for records without distinct pulses

Elias Dimitrakopoulos, Andreas J. Kappos, Nicos Makris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The seismic response of two fundamental mechanical configurations of earthquake engineering, the elastic-plastic system and the pounding oscillator, is revisited with the aid of dimensional analysis. Starting from the previous work of the authors which focused on pulse-type excitations, the paper offers an alternative, yet physically motivated, way to present the response of yielding and pounding structures under excitations with arbitrary time history. It is shown, that when the appropriate time and length scales are adopted, dimensional analysis can be implemented and remarkable order emerges in the response. Regardless of the acceleration level and frequency content of the excitation, all response spectra become self-similar and when expressed in dimensionless terms, resulting from dimensional analysis, follow a single master curve. The study proposes such scales together with the associated selection criteria among the available in literature strong ground motion parameters and shows that the proposed approach reduces drastically the scatter in the response.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1170-1180
Number of pages11
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Dimensional analysis
  • Earthquake engineering
  • Non-linear structural dynamics
  • Physical similarity


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