This paper is the world’s first to highlight an experimental investigation into the earthquake responses of a steel frame retrofitted by novel metallic bending energy absorbers made of low-yield-point steel with the yield strength of approximately 100 MPa. New results have been achieved by conducting comprehensive shaking table tests on a quarter-scaled model of a two-story, one-span building structure subjected to incremental intensity levels of input earthquake records. The detailed information of the specimens, material properties, monitoring sensors, and dynamic loading mechanisms has been presented. The experimental results in terms of seismic phenomena, dynamic characteristics, acceleration, inter-story drift ratios, and strain distributions are also analyzed by the data collected from a wide range of sensors. It is found that the seismic failure of the specimens depends largely on the energy absorbers, which dissipate the majority of seismic input energy in order to prevent the parent steel frame from being damaged by a severe earthquake. In addition, the retrofitted structure sufficiently satisfies the design criteria considering allowable drift limits under both frequent and rare earthquakes. This indicates the influential role of the novel low-yield-point absorber, in that the overall seismic performance of the retrofitted structure can be improved adequately for survival in high-intensity seismic fortification areas.
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