Theoretical and experimental analyses are carried out for the mechanical characteristics of multi-layer elastomeric isolation bearings where the reinforcing elements, normally steel plates, are replaced by a fiber reinforcement. The fiber-reinforced isolator, in contrast to the steel-reinforced isolator (which is assumed to be rigid both in extension and flexure), is assumed to be flexible in extension, but completely without flexure rigidity.
The influence of fiber flexibility on the mechanical properties of the fiber-reinforced isolator, such as the vertical and horizontal stiffness, is studied, and it is shown that it should be possible to produce a fiber-reinforced isolator that matches the behavior of a steel-reinforced isolator. The fiber-reinforced isolator will be significantly lighter and could lead to a much less labor-intensive manufacturing process.
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