Research Papers

Fiber-Reinforced Elastomeric Bearings for Vibration Isolation

[+] Author and Article Information
James M. Kelly

Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center,
University of California, Berkeley
1301 S. 46th Street,
Richmond, CA 94804-4698
e-mail: jmkelly@berkeley.edu

Niel C. Van Engelen

Department of Civil Engineering,
McMaster University,
1280 Main Street W.,
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L7, Canada
e-mail: vanengn@mcmaster.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF VIBRATION AND ACOUSTICS. Manuscript received March 10, 2015; final manuscript received September 14, 2015; published online November 19, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Walter Lacarbonara.

J. Vib. Acoust 138(1), 011015 (Nov 19, 2015) (6 pages) Paper No: VIB-15-1084; doi: 10.1115/1.4031755 History: Received March 10, 2015; Revised September 14, 2015

Fiber-reinforced elastomeric bearings were originally proposed as an alternative to conventional steel-reinforced elastomeric bearings for seismic isolation applications. The flexible fiber reinforcement is a light-weight and potentially cost saving alternative to steel reinforcement which is assumed rigid in the design process. The variety of fiber materials available also serves as an additional parameter for designers to tailor the vertical stiffness of the bearing. In this paper, the analytical solution for the vertical compression modulus of a rectangular elastomeric pad including the effects of bulk compressibility and extensibility of the fiber reinforcement is used to investigate the achievable decrease in vertical frequency. It is shown by an example that the extensibility of the fiber reinforcement can be used to significantly reduce the vertical stiffness in comparison to an equivalent steel-reinforced elastomeric bearing. The resulting decrease in the vertical frequency means that fiber-reinforced elastomeric bearings may have an advantage over steel-reinforced bearings in the vibration isolation of buildings.

Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Snowdon, J. C. , 1979, Vibration Isolation: Use and Characterization (NBS Handbook; 128), U.S. National Bureau of Standards, Washington DC.
Grootenhuis, P. , 1982, “ Vibration Isolation of Buildings—Some Basic Principles,” International Conference on Natural Rubber for Earthquake Protection of Buildings and Vibration Isolation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb. 22–25, pp. 1–14.
Crockett, J. H. A. , 1982, “ Early Attempts, Research and Modern Techniques for Isolating Buildings,” International Conference on Natural Rubber for Earthquake Protection of Buildings and Vibration Isolation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Feb. 22–25, pp. 15–44.
Derham, C. J. , and Waller, R. A. , 1975, “ Luxury Without Rumble,” Consult. Eng., 39(7), pp. 49–53.
Freyssinet International, 1977, “ Congress Centre in Berlin,” Freyssinet International, Paris, Document No. 159.
Wilson, G. P. , 2004, “ Isolation of Performance Halls From Ground Vibration,” Annual Conference of the Australian Acoustical Society (Acoustics 2004), Gold Coast, Australia, Nov. 3–5.
Muniandy, K. , Pond, T. J. , and Lim, C. L. , 1993, “ Light Weight Natural Rubber Bearings,” International Rubber Technology Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, June 14–16, pp. 303–327.
Kelly, J. M. , and Takhirov, S. M. , 2002, “ Analytical and Experimental Study of Fiber-Reinforced Strip Isolators,” Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA, Report No. PEER 2002/11.
Kelly, J. M. , and Calabrese, A. , 2013, “ Analysis of Fiber-Reinforced Elastomeric Isolators Including Stretching of Reinforcement and Compressibility of Elastomer,” Ing. Sismica, 30(3), pp. 5–16.
Pinarbasi, S. , and Okay, F. , 2011, “ Compression of Hollow-Circular Fiber-Reinforced Rubber Bearings,” Struct. Eng. Mech., 38(3), pp. 361–384. [CrossRef]
Angeli, P. , Russo, G. , and Paschini, A. , 2013, “ Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Rectangular Isolators With Compressible Elastomer: Analytical Solution for Compression and Bending,” Int. J. Solids Struct., 50(22), pp. 3519–3527. [CrossRef]
Kelly, J. M. , and Konstantinidis, D. , 2011, Mechanics of Rubber Bearings for Seismic and Vibration Isolation, Wiley, Chichester, UK.
Kelly, J. M. , 1997, Earthquake-Resistant Design With Rubber, Springer, London.
Kelly, J. M. , 2008, “ Analysis of the Run-In Effect in Fiber-Reinforced Isolators Under Vertical Load,” J. Mech. Mater. Struct., 3(7), pp. 1383–1401. [CrossRef]
Burns, J. , Dubbelday, P. S. , and Ting, R. Y. , 1990, “ Dynamic Bulk Modulus of Various Elastomers,” J. Polym. Sci. Part B: Polym. Phys., 28(7), pp. 1187–1205. [CrossRef]
Fuller, K. N. G. , Gregory, M. J. , Harris, J. A. , Muhr, A. H. , Roberts, A. D. , and Stevenson, A. , 1988, “ Engineering Use of Natural Rubber,” Natural Rubber Science and Technology, A. D. Roberts , ed., Oxford University Press, New York.
Lindley, P. B. , 1978, “ Engineering Design With Natural Rubber,” NR Technical Bulletin, 4th ed., The Malaysian Rubber Producers' Research Association, Brickendonbury, Hertford, UK.
Kelly, J. M. , and Konstantinidis, D. , 2009, “ Effect of Friction on Unbonded Elastomeric Bearings,” J. Eng. Mech. (ASCE), 135(9), pp. 953–960. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Schematic of a vibration isolation design including side bearings

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Restrained elastomeric pad (a) coordinate system and (b) lateral bulging

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Forces per unit length acting on the fiber reinforcement in the x direction

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Rectangular pad coordinate system

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Compression modulus of a square pad including the bulk compressibility of the elastomer and extensibility of the reinforcement

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Sensitivity of Ec to β2 for the example bearing assuming inextensible (α2=0) and extensible (α2=48) reinforcement

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Sensitivity of ρ1/2 to the elastomer bulk compressibility and extensibility of the reinforcement



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In