AbstractThis paper proposes a framework for seismic performance assessment of mutiblock tower structures designed to store renewable energy. To perform our assessment, we deployed, in tandem, physical and numerical models that were developed using appropriate scaling for Newtonian systems that interact via frictional contact. The approach is novel, breaking away from continuum structures for which Cauchy scaling and continuum mechanics are used to model systems. We show that our discontinuous approach is predictive and consistent. We demonstrate predictiveness by showing that the numerical models can reproduce with high fidelity the physical models deployed across two different scales. Consistency is demonstrated by showing that our models can be seamlessly compared across scales and without regard for whether the model is physical or numerical. The integrated theoretical-numerical-experimental approach provides a robust framework to study multiblock tower structures, and the results of our seismic performance assessments are promising. These findings may open the door for new analysis tools in structural mechanics, particularly those applied to gravity energy storage systems.

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