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Shaking Table Evaluation of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Columns Repaired using Fiber Reinforced Polymer Jackets

  • Author(s): Kumar, Pardeep
  • Advisor(s): Mosalam, Khalid M
  • et al.

After an earthquake event it is the responsibility of the engineers to decide if the bridge structure is safe for the traffic flow, requires repair or needs to be replaced completely depending on the damage level. Effective, economical and timely repair of Reinforced Concrete (RC) bridges after a seismic event is crucial to avoid traffic congestion and lengthy detours. Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite laminates are one of few options with several advantages. Use of FRP jackets in structural engineering is gaining interest in applications such as strengthening weak structural elements, improving the existing structure capacity to resist increased loads due to change in use of structure and retrofitting structural elements for seismic upgrades. The study presents shaking table experimental investigation to evaluate the use of FRP for repairing RC bridge columns with circular cross-sections.

Two ¼-scale RC columns were tested in as-built configuration. Both tests had identical geometry and reinforcement details except for the spacing of the transverse reinforcing bars. One column had closely spaced hoops satisfying code requirements and the other had larger spacing, representing a shear-critical column. The test specimens were subjected to a series of horizontal and vertical excitations on a shaking table and experienced moderate to high damage. The damaged columns were subsequently repaired with unidirectional FRP composite laminates and subjected to the same set of earthquake excitations. The obtained experimental data showed that the repaired columns achieved higher strength and ductility with lower residual displacements compared to the as-built ones contributing to the resiliency of the bridge system.

A three-dimensional (3D) Finite Element (FE) model was developed and calibrated using the experimental test results. A bilinear confined concrete model was adopted to model the constitutive relationship of the FRP confined concrete without explicitly modeling the FRP composite jacket. Due to variability of the material properties, several calibration parameters were studied to develop a reliable FE model. The results of the dynamic FE analysis showed great potential for 3D modeling of the repaired test specimens. From this study, it is concluded that the used FRP composite laminates represent a viable solution for the effective and rapid repair of damaged RC bridge columns. A parametric study was conducted to evaluate the horizontal force, deformation, and confining strain response of the retrofitted RC bridge columns using the computational model. The response of the FE models with different number of FRP plies in the jacket was investigated. The analytical results suggested that increasing the number of FRP plies in the jacket significantly changed the confining strains response of the confined cross-section but the global force-deformation was not significantly affected.

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