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Development of a Seismic Isolation System for Commercial Storage Racks

[+] Author Affiliations
David H. Johnson, Robert J. Michael, Joseph D. Redovan, Eric E. Moser, Blake A. Macdonald

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Erie, PA

Michael C. Pollino

Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Paper No. IMECE2012-89112, pp. 609-617; 9 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Dynamics, Control and Uncertainty, Parts A and B
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 9–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4520-2
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


This paper provides an overview of an analysis performed on a new base isolation system developed for seismic isolation of steel pallet storage racks. Pallet storage racks are often found in warehousing for material storage and are designed to store materials on pallets in horizontal rows with multiple levels which are accessed by forklift trucks. The new isolation system provides seismic isolation in the cross-aisle direction by incorporating heavily damped elastomeric bearings (referred to here as seismic mounts) and low-friction bearing plates. The objective of the base isolation system is to reduce horizontal accelerations of the rack to eliminate product shedding and structural damage during a major earthquake without interfering with normal, day-to-day material handling operations. The paper presents a summary of numerical results (transient structural, finite element analysis simulation) comparing storage rack response against actual tests performed on a triaxial shake table in the Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL) at the University at Buffalo (see Filiatrault[1] et al. 2008 for comprehensive test details). The simulation model was then used to determine a set of optimal seismic isolation parameters that satisfy the practical range of rack shelf loads and configurations that can be expected in typical warehouse and store installations.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME
Topics: Storage



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