During the 1995 Kobe, Japan, earthquake, a considerable fraction of the container cranes at the Port of Kobe either collapsed or were damaged beyond repair, leading to significant economic losses for the port and the surrounding region.
Cranes are unique structures and replacement of a failed structure can take more than a year. Their continued operation after an earthquake is critical to the continued operation of the port as well as post-disaster recovery for the region in which it is located.
Despite their importance, the seismic performance of cranes has not been studied in the United States, until now. A new study is underway as part of an NSF Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Grand Challenge project.