Ductility demand for uni-directional and reversing plastic hinges in ductile moment resisting frames
Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering
In a major earthquake the beams in moment resisting frames may develop either reversing or unidirectional plastic hinges. The form of plastic hinge depends upon the ratio of the moments induced by the gravity loading to those induced by the seismic actions. Where this ratio is low the plastic hinges form at the ends of the beams and the sign of the inelastic rotation changes with the direction of sway. These are reversing plastic hinges, and the magnitude of the rotation that they sustained is
... they sustained is closely related to the inter-storey displacement. However, when the moment ratio exceeds a certain critical value, unidirectional plastic hinges may form. In this case negative moment plastic hinges develop at the column faces and the positive moment plastic hinges form in the beam spans. As the earthquake progresses the positive and negative inelastic rotations accumulate in their respective zones so that peak values are always sustained at the end of the earthquake. With this type of plastic hinge no simple relationship exists between inter-storey drift and inelastic rotation. Several series of time history analyses have been made to assess the relative magnitudes of inelastic rotation that are imposed on the two forms of plastic hinge. It is found that with design level earthquakes typically the unidirectional plastic hinge is required to sustain 21/ 2 to 4 times the rotation imposed on reversing plastic hinges, with the curvature ductilities ranging up to 140. These values are appreciably in excess of the values measured in tests using standard details. This indicates that in structures where unidirectional plastic hinges may form, the design displacement ductility and or the allowable inter-storey drift should be reduced below the maximum values currently permitted in the New Zealand codes. The problems associated with the formation of unidirectional plastic hinges can be avoided by adding positive moment flexural reinforcement in the mid regions of the beams. By this means the potential positive moment plastic hinges can be restricted to the beam ends.