It is now well recognized by the earthquake engineering community that even during a moderate seismic event extensive nonstructural damage may occur, resulting in a potential threat to life safety and significant economic losses. For equipment and building contents, the primary economic losses may be accrued due to operational failure or repair of the equipment and the associated downtime. In science laboratories or hospitals, equipment are generally placed on the surface of ceramic laboratory benches, which in turn are attached to the structural floor and ceiling systems. Therefore, the sliding response of the equipment and contents are greatly influenced by the acceleration amplification due to a support element (such as a bench-shelf system). This report addresses the above issues within a typical laboratory building. Experiments are conducted to determine the interface frictional behavior and the dynamic characteristics of typical bench-shelf systems. Large system-level shake table experiments are performed to study the bench-shelf and equipment response. Analytical simulations are conducted, and in general good comparison with respect to the experimental results is obtained. Finally, seismic fragility curves for sliding-dominated equipment are developed and provided in simplified form for design purposes. Results from this study are useful for estimating the vulnerability of equipment and contents within typical laboratory or hospital buildings.
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