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Cumulative Seismic Damage of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Piers



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


A comprehensive experimental study was undertaken in this research effort to investigate cumulative damage in reinforced concrete circular bridge piers. Twelve identical quarter-scale bridge columns, designed and fabricated in accordance with current AASHTO specifications, were tested in two phases. Phase 1 testing consisted of benchmark tests to establish the monotonic force-deformation envelope, the energy capacity under standard cyclic loads, and constant amplitude tests to determine the low-cycle fatigue characteristics of the bridge column. Phase 2 testing was composed of a series of analytically predicted displacement amplitudes representing the bridge response to earthquakes. The results of Phase 1 testing provided information on the fatigue behavior of reinforced concrete and Phase 2 provided data on the effects of load path on cumulative damage.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6075
Report Number


piers, bridges (structures), reinforced concretes, damage, columns, cyclic load, ductility, energy capacity, experimental testing, low cycle fatigue, seismic damage


Kunnath, S. , El-Bahy, A. , Taylor, A. and Stone, W. (1997), Cumulative Seismic Damage of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Piers, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created October 1, 1997, Updated November 10, 2018