Smart Bracing System

Research Project Title: Smart Bracing Systems

Research Abstract:

To “restore and improve urban infrastructure” is among the grand challenges of engineering in the 21st century. Sustainable infrastructure and construction management is also an integral part of Canada’s Science and Technology Strategy and aligns with three key federal policy priorities: building community resilience through infrastructure; advancing the energy transition; and supporting Canadian innovation in manufacturing and technology. Having resilient and sustainable infrastructure is an important aspect that structural engineers always try to improve. Earthquakes are one of the major sources of damage to the built environment. Bracing systems proofed to be a very effective technique to resist this type of loading. Developing self-centering bracing systems using Shape Memory Alloys (SMA) and Friction Springs (FS) is a critical research that is being conducted in the ALAMS. This type of structural element experiences large deformations and undergoes varying levels of loading. At the same time, they have the self-centering ability which highlights the reliability of such systems.

For that reason, the research in this area directly addresses a current need in Canada to help meet the identified infrastructure deficit. The research outcomes will enhance sustainability and save millions of dollars in long-term public infrastructure projects. The proposed research is required to improve the safety and security of building infrastructure against large magnitude earthquakes. Such self-centering devices will not only be a cost-effective and efficient technique for new buildings but also for retrofitting older deficient structures. The anticipated research is intended to produce a design guideline, which is going to enable the structural design practitioners to design such bracing systems against seismic loading. The standard design methodology for the bracings will ensure the achievement of desired performance level with minimum time and cost implication. With the desired level of performance, the structures having this system will be safer during any severe seismic event. Finally, the result of this research will be disseminated through journal publications, trade magazines, conference proceedings and thus, help the worldwide community of design engineers, and create a more sustainable and resilient infrastructure environment.

Bracing Device

Schematic Design

Project Team:

[1] M. Shahria  Alam

[2] Anas Issa


1. A Issa, MS Alam “Spring Based Piston Bracing Device” US Patent (Application submitted: August 2018, Application Number: 62739457)
2. Issa, A. S., M., Haque, A. R., & Alam, M. S. “An Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Cyclic Performance of a Smart Self-Centering Bracing System.” CSCE General Conference – Fredericton, NB, Canada, June 13 – June 16, 2018.
3. A Issa, MS Alam “Seismic Performance of a Novel Single and Double Spring Based Piston Bracing.” Accepted, Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE.
4. Haque, A. R., Issa, A., & Alam, M. S. “Superelastic shape memory alloy (SMA) flag shape hysteresis model with sliding response from residual deformation: experimental and numerical study” Submitted, Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures. (Tentatively accepted: November 2018).
5. A Issa, MS Alam “Closed-loop dynamic testing of Spring Based Piston Bracing” Submitted, Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE. (Revised manuscript submission date: November 2018)
6. A Issa, MS Alam “An Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Cyclic Performance of a Smart Self-Centering Bracing System.” Submitted, Engineering Structures (Submission date: July 2018, Received Reviewers’ Comments)
7. A Issa, MS Alam “Seismic Performance of Piston Based Self-Centering Bracing System using Semi-Hybrid Simulation.” Abstract submitted 12 Earthquake Engineering, June 17-20, 2019, Quebec, QC, Canada. 12th Canadian Conference on
8. A Issa, MS Alam “Seismic Performance Assessment of a Novel Spring Based Piston Bracing.” 7th International Engineering Mechanics and Materials Specialty Conference, CSCE, June 12-15, 2019, Laval, QC, Canada.
9. A Issa, MS Alam “Seismic Performance of Braced Frames: A State-Of-The-Art Review.” To be submitted, Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE. (Expected submission date: December 2018).
10. A Issa, MS Alam “Seismic Fragility Assessment of Novel Spring Based Piston Braced Frames.” To be submitted, Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering. (Expected submission date: December 2018).
11. A Issa, MS Alam “Probabilistic vulnerability assessment of Piston Based Self-Centering Braced Frames.” To be submitted, Engineering Structures. (Expected submission date: December 2018).