This paper documents tests conducted to assess anchor loading characteristics and distributions over a suspended ceiling before, during, and after a series of simulated earthquakes. Miniature force-measurement devices were installed on a 4.5 by 6.5 m section of gypsum board ceiling located in a full-scale five-story building. The building was subjected to a series of four scaled earthquakes until failure of the ceiling occurred. The test results show that the ceiling-to-slab acceleration amplification was a factor of about 6.4 for horizontal accelerations and 15.0 for vertical acceleration immediately prior to failure of the ceiling. Variation of the peak axial anchor forces across the ceiling under earthquake loading was significant; the maxima exceed the mean value by a factor of up to 3.8 times. Rainflow counting of axial anchor load cycles is used to provide cycling demand for both the linear and nonlinear response of the ceiling.

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