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Cumulative Seismic Damage of Circular Bridge Columns: Benchmark and Low-Cycle Fatigue Tests

Published

Author(s)

A El-Bahy, S K. Kunnath, William C. Stone, A W. Taylor

Abstract

An experimental study was undertaken to investigate cumulative damage in reinforced concrete circular bridge piers subjected to a series of earthquake excitations. Twelve identical quarter-scale bridge columns, designed in accordance with current AASHTO specifications, were fabricated and tested to failure. This paper summarizes the results of Phase 1 testing that consisted of benchmark tests to establish the monotonic force-deformation envelope and the energy capacity under standard cyclic loads, and constant amplitude tests to determine the low-cycle fatigue characteristics of typical flexural bridge columns. A companion paper will present the results of variable amplitude testing that focused on the effects of load path on cumulative damage. Test observations indicate two potential failure modes: low cycle fatigue of the longitudinal reinforcing bars; and confinement failure due to rupture of the confining spirals. The former failure mode is associated with relatively large displacements amplitudes in excess of 4 percent lateral drift, while the latter is associated with a larger number of smaller amplitude cycles. A fatigue life expression is developed that can be used in damage-based seismic design of circular, flexural bridge columns.
Citation
Aci Structural Journal
Volume
96
Issue
No. 4

Keywords

bridges (structures), damage, reinforced concretes, piers, earthquakes, fatigue (materials), structures, cyclic loads, ductility, material properties

Citation

El-Bahy, A. , Kunnath, S. , Stone, W. and Taylor, A. (1999), Cumulative Seismic Damage of Circular Bridge Columns: Benchmark and Low-Cycle Fatigue Tests, Aci Structural Journal, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=909399 (Accessed February 28, 2024)
Created July 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017