Ancient Chinese timber architecture. II: Dynamic characteristics

D. P. Fang, S. Iwasaki, M. H. Yu, Qiping Shen, Y. Miyamoto, H. Hikosaka

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


It is imperative to preserve ancient Chinese timber architecture because the impacts of time and the environment have seriously reduced the resistance capability of these historical relics. However, little information can be found to provide basic knowledge for maintenance and reinforcement. Based on an experimental study of an ancient timber structure - the front tower over the North Gate of the Xi'an City Wall in China - a semirigid finite-element model (FEM) was developed to simulate the behavior of dou gong (corbel brackets) and tenon joints and a 3D FEM model was used to study the dynamic characteristics of the structure. The FEM program SAFATS was developed to conduct dynamic and earthquake response analysis for this kind of timber structure. By comparison with experimental results, the equivalent stiffness of the semirigid element was defined and the dynamic characteristics of the structure were obtained. Based on the analysis, it was found that the use of semirigid connections in timber structures, such as dou gong (corbel brackets) and tenon joints, may reduce the magnitude of earthquake forces significantly. It is concluded that the numerical method and computational program developed in this paper are able to determine basic characteristics and to provide solutions for the maintenance and reinforcement of a timber structure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1358-1363
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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