Based on recent earthquakes experiences in Taiwan, losses do not necessarily result from damages of building structures but non-structural components. For instance, the leakage of the fire protection sprinkler systems in hospitals during small earthquakes could results in shortage of medical function and fire protection, and malfunction and repairs of medical equipment. The break of sprinkler systems caused by strong earthquakes could even harm the life safety. Taking a medium-scale hospital as an example, this research aims to conduct a simplified seismic evaluation method to improve seismic performance of the fire protection sprinkler system in critical buildings. The content of this research is summarized below:
1. Numerical analysis of the sample sprinkler piping system: a detailed numerical model of the fire protection sprinkler system in the sample hospital was established with SAP2000 v.20 software. Proper parameters to simulate the threaded joint of piping and the gap between adjacent partition walls or ceiling systems were proposed and verified by the results of component tests and shaking table tests. Ambient vibration tests in the sample hospital were conducted with velocimeters to clarify the structural characteristics of the building structure and the sprinkler piping system.
2. Fragility analysis of sprinkler piping systems: seismic fragility curves the fire protection sprinkler system in the sample hospital were conducted according to a mount of detailed analysis results and verified by the real damage state under Jiaxian earthquake. The effects of engineering demand parameters and categories of ground motion on fragility results are discussed for three types of failure modes.
3. Simplified seismic evaluation method for sprinkler piping systems: according to the results of shaking table tests and detailed analysis, a reliable simplified evaluation method was established to predict seismic behavior of typical sprinkler piping systems in hospitals by the information obtained from in-situ survey. The conservative level and accuracy of simplified evaluation results were verified by comparing the results of fragility analysis of numerical model and simplified evaluation.