The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 88 (2010) > Issues > Issue 18 > Determining the dynamic characteristics of multi-panel floors
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Determining the dynamic characteristics of multi-panel floors

This paper deals with the determination of the dynamic characteristics of multi-panel floors, primarily to provide information for calculating their response to human loading. It presents lessons that have been learnt by the authors modelling various types of floor. The paper focuses on the low damped, medium to long-span floors typically encountered in modern offices. For these floors, the resonant response to rhythmic loading from walking or jumping is the prime consideration. To determine the modal properties of a floor a finite element representation is adopted. This paper considers three common types of floor in order of increasing complexity. In each case there are important factors to be considered. However, with multi-panel floors there is one further factor which cannot always be modelled accurately, namely the continuity between panels, and this is described. Damping is an important characteristic, but one which does not fit in comfortably with finite element modelling. This is dealt with separately. Finally the data determined from a model of a multi-panel composite floor are used to evaluate the floor's response to both walking and jumping loads. Several simpler models are provided for comparison. The calculated responses are then compared with corresponding measurements to provide an illustration of the range of results that can be encountered. Brian R. Ellis, BSc, PhD, DSc, CEng, MIStructE Consultant Tianjian Ji, BSc, MSc, PhD, CEng, FIStructE UK School of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester Emad El-Dardiry, BSc, MSc, PhD Faculty of Engineering, Banha University, Cairo, Egypt Tianxin Zheng, BEng, MSc, PhD UK School of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester

Author(s): Ellis, Brian R;Ji, Tianjian;El-Dardiry, Emad;Zheng, Tianxin

Keywords: floors;vibration;dynamic loads;modelling;panels;testing;damping