The present paper addresses the issue of quantifying the key aspects of the dynamic response of non-structural components of civil and industrial buildings under seismic actions. Recent seismic events pointed out the huge damage often suffered by the parts of those buildings (e.g., partitions, masonry infill, suspended ceilings, finishing, specific equipment and so on) which do not belong strictly to the “structure”. Then, it was clear that a huge lack of knowledge still affects both analysis procedures and design or assessment methods currently adopted for the rather wide class of “objects” possibly referred as “non-structural components”. After a short introduction stating the main aims of the present paper, some of the most popular past and current code provisions addressing the issue of non-structural components are briefly outlined. Since they provide rather diverse relationships for evaluating the maximum earthquake-induced actions on the non-structural components, a wide parametric analysis based on a 2DOF system is presented. It simulates the coupled response of both main structure and non-structural component. The key parameters which actually control the dynamic response of non-structural components emerged from this study and were considered in the preliminary proposal of a simplified formula to evaluate the maximum earthquake-induced inertial actions.
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