The seismic response of base-isolated structures is notably influenced by mechanical properties of isolation devices due to their essential role in structural behavior. Consequently, the variability of such properties should be accounted for in the design process. The current seismic codes prescribe a simplified approach based on structural analyses in two extreme situations resulting from the upper and lower bound design properties of bearings (upper and lower bound analyses). In the case that experimental data are not provided by manufacturers, seismic codes provide the so-called “property modification factors” or “λ-factors”, i.e., modification coefficients to be applied to the nominal dynamic properties of bearings to obtain their upper or lower design properties. The aim of this paper is to provide a historical review of values provided for such factors by the main seismic codes by highlighting the limits, as well as some clerical errors, present in some codes. In particular, the European seismic codes are illustrated in detail, i.e., the Eurocode for bridges (EN 1998-2) and product standard on anti-seismic devices (EN 15129). Both these codes account for different sources of variability, such as the bearings production and the environmental and behavioral effects. For all these effects, the same λ-factor values are provided by the two codes, deriving from the second version of the AASHTO guide specifications for seismic isolation of bridges (AASHTO 1999), which are based on limited and/or old data, especially for high damping rubber bearings (HDRBs), and were never updated in the successive versions. More recent standards are also illustrated, providing different perspectives that deserve attention, even though they require further investigations to be applied in the design practice.
λ-Factors for the Upper and Lower Bound Analyses of Base-Isolated Structures: Historical Review of Code Provisions for Elastomeric Bearings † / Ragni, L.; Micozzi, F.; Gioiella, L.; Castellano, M. G.; Infanti, S.; Dall'Asta, A.. - In: APPLIED SCIENCES. - ISSN 2076-3417. - 13:9(2023). [10.3390/app13095820]