Seismic Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Columns at Sub-Freezing Temperatures

The final goal of this research was to develop recommendations for the future seismic design or assessment of reinforced concrete (RC) bridge bent structures in cold seismic regions. Ten large scale circular columns were constructed and tested under cyclic reversal of loads inside an environmental chamber in the North Carolina State University Constructed Facilities Laboratory (CFL). The columns were tested at freezing (-40°C, -40°F) and ambient (23°C, 74°F) temperatures. In order to characterize every aspect of the seismic response at low temperatures, the columns' design was governed by a desired behavior: shear dominated columns, flexural dominated columns and reinforced concrete filled steel tube columns. Results obtained show that RC members exposed to the combined effects of sub-freezing temperatures and cyclic loads undergo a gradual increase in strength and stiffness coupled with a reduction in displacement capacity. The experimental results were used to calibrate a fiber-based model and a series of static and inelastic analyses were performed to typical Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities bent configurations. Based on the results obtained from the experimental tests, the non-linear simulations and a moment-curvature parametric analysis, a simple methodology was developed to account for the low temperature flexural overstrength and reduction in ductility capacity.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    North Carolina State University, Raleigh

    Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
    2501 Stinson Drive, Campus Box 7908
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27695-7908

    Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

    Research, Development and Technology Transfer, 2301 Peger Road
    Fairbanks, AK  United States  99709-5399

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Montejo, Luis A
    • Kowalsky, Mervyn J
    • Hassan, Tasnim
  • Publication Date: 2008-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 397p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01103975
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-AK-RD-08-01
  • Contract Numbers: HPR-4000(48)/61378
  • Created Date: Jul 2 2008 10:45AM