Cumulative Seismic Damage of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Piers
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This report describes a comprehensive experimental study to investigate cumulative damage in reinforced concrete circular bridge piers subjected to a series of earthquake excitations. Twelve identical quarter-scale bridge columns, designed and fabricated in accordance with current AASHTO specifications, were involved. Testing was in two phases. Phase I established benchmark tests of 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 II testing consisted of a series of analytically predicted displacement amplitudes representing the bridge response to typical earthquakes. 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. An analytical study of cumulative damage was also conducted. A simple fatigue-based model was used to predict cumulative damage in flexural bridge piers. Findings from this study will provide additional input into the development of performance-based design specifications. (Adapted from authors' abstract).