Get the Accel Out

In OpenSees, a UniformExcitation pattern is functionally equivalent to a regular load pattern, fitting into the framework of a time-varying scalar load factor and constant reference load vector. The scalar load factor is the input ground acceleration, $latex \ddot{u}_g(t)$, while the reference load vector is $latex {\bf P}_{ref}=-{\bf m}{\boldsymbol \iota}$ where $latex {\bf m}$ is … Continue reading Get the Accel Out

OpenSeesaw

A moderately frequent OpenSees question is what happens to a structural model when you apply a rotational ground motion as a uniform excitation. Sure, rotational masses will receive effective earthquake forces, but what about dynamic DOFs that are orthogonal to the rotational ground excitation, i.e., with a "moment arm"? And if there is a moment … Continue reading OpenSeesaw

Interpolation of Ground Acceleration

There was a question on GitHub a few months about whether or not OpenSees uses linear interpolation when the analysis time step is smaller than the time step (digitization) of an input ground acceleration. This is a good question as I've used other software that does not interpolate and instead uses the acceleration of the … Continue reading Interpolation of Ground Acceleration

That’s a Large Mass

After cutting through all the spam, you'll find some good posts on the OpenSees message board. In one such post, Ahmet Alper Parker asked about the large mass method (LMM) and if it can be implemented in OpenSees. I was not familiar with the LMM, so Ahmet pointed me to this paper. The basic idea … Continue reading That’s a Large Mass

Absolutely, It’s Relative

One of the most frequently asked OpenSees questions is whether node recorders record absolute or relative displacement (relative to the ground) when a model is subjected to a uniform excitation. There's several approaches to find the answer to this question. One solution is to apply a simple uniform excitation--like a constant ground acceleration--to an SDF … Continue reading Absolutely, It’s Relative

Pushover with Constant Ground Jerk

A graduate student and I are developing an OpenSees model of the water tower described in this paper. Thankfully, the model is pretty straightforward, i.e., reproducible from what's written in the paper. The authors of the paper did a pushover analysis of the water tower using dynamic response to a "slow, ramped, horizontal ground acceleration … Continue reading Pushover with Constant Ground Jerk