Based on the immediate needs of emergency medical services provided by hospitals after strong earthquakes, this paper is to introduce a research program on assessment and improvement strategies for typical configuration of sprinkler piping systems in hospitals. The study involved component tests and subsystem tests. Cyclic loading tests were conducted to investigate inelastic behavior of components including concrete anchorage, screwed fittings of small bore piping and mechanical couplings. Parts of horizontal piping systems of the aforementioned seismic damaged sprinkler piping system were tested using shaking table tests. Furthermore, the horizontal piping subsystems with seismic resistant devices such as braces, flexible pipes and mechanical couplings were tested.
The test results show that the main cause of the damaged case is the poor shear capacity of the screwed fitting of the small-bore tee branch. The optimum improvement strategy to achieve higher nonstructural performance level for the horizontal piping subsystem is to strengthen the main pipe with braces and to decrease shear demands on the tee branch by flexible pipes. The hysteresis loops and failure modes of components were further discussed and will be used to conduct numerical analysis of sprinkler piping systems in future studies.