Fiber-Reinforced Bearings (FRBs) have proven to be a valuable rubber-based base isolation technology in which flexible fiber reinforcements are used to replace the steel layers commonly adopted for the manufacturing of Laminated Rubber Bearings (LRBs). Thanks to the low weight and cost of FRBs, these devices could prove to be instrumental for the promotion of base isolation applications to houses and residential buildings of developing countries in seismic regions. This report presents the results of a large set of Finite Element Analyses (FEAs) aimed at assessing the performance of FRBs under combined axial and shear loads. The effects of different magnitudes of axial pressure, material properties, and primary and secondary bearing shape factors on the stability of the devices under combined axial and shear loads are discussed in this work. Conclusions of this study underline that the simple design formulae commonly adopted for FRBs underestimate the effect of the axial pressure in limiting the lateral displacement capacity of the bearings. Additional Finite Element Analyses are needed to extend the results of this study to bearings of other shapes, including circular and square isolators.

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Transportation Engineering

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MTI Project



Base isolation, Recycled rubber, Fiber-reinforced bearings, Instability, Finite element analyses


Structural Engineering