ASTM WK45359

    New Test Method for Test Method to Predict Seismic Performance of Suspended Ceiling Systems by Full-Scale Dynamic Testing

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    Developed by Subcommittee: E06.11 | Committee E06 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    This test method helps predict the performance that can be encountered during a seismic event of a full-scale suspended ceiling system using a dynamic seismic simulator (shake table). Full-scale assemblies of suspended ceiling systems intended for analysis shall be constructed on a seismic simulator platform. The test assemblies are suspended from a test frame with specific dynamic properties. Pre-test inspection and verification of compliance with the recommended installation requirements are conducted prior to test. The test protocol includes resonance search tests, random multi-frequency seismic simulations, and post-test inspection. This is a comparative method where a test system is compared against a system with known performance under a given set of conditions. The values stated in SI unit are to be regarded as the standard. The inch-pound unit equivalents of SI units, given in parentheses, are approximate. This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. The text of this standard uses notes & footnotes which provide explanatory material. These notes and footnotes (excluding those in tables and figures) shall not be considered as requirements of the standard.

    The response of nonstructural components such as suspended ceiling systems can significantly affect the functionality of a building after an earthquake, even when the structural components are undamaged. Traditional suspended ceiling systems which consist of typical direct hung T shaped main runners and cross tees are installed according to the prescriptive requirements contained in Practice E580, the applicable sections of the International Building Code, and ASCE 7. Specification C635 and Practice C636 cover suspension systems and do not address seismic restraint of suspension systems or the performance of the ceiling panels. The performance of these traditional ceiling suspension systems is determined by mechanical testing of the connections strengths and the load-carrying capability of the suspension members. Practice E580 contains specific instructions concerning the placement of hanger wires, perimeter fastening, and seismic bracing. There are non-traditional suspended ceiling systems that do not consist of the typical direct hung T members. Connection strengths of the structural suspension members are not directly related to the anticipated performance of the system under earthquake loads. In addition, the ceiling panels or tiles are not always supported on all four sides of the suspension members. The integrity of ceiling systems depends on the ability of the ceiling infill panels to remain in place during an earthquake and on the structural integrity of the suspension system. No current ASTM standard or practice address the performance of these non-traditional suspended ceiling systems. This test method gives a procedure for full scale evaluation that can be used by anyone with an interest in this type of performance such as AHJ's and code officials.


    Seismic performance; Suspended ceiling systems; full-scale dynamic testing

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

    Citing ASTM Standards
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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Paul Hough


    E06.11 (16-04)

    Negative Votes Need Resolution