Modified Plastic-Hinge Method for Circular RC Bridge Columns

This paper discusses a research program aimed at defining accurate limit-state displacements that relate to specific levels of damage in reinforced concrete bridge columns subjected to seismic hazards. In design, concrete compressive and steel tensile strain limits are related to column deformations through the use of an equivalent curvature distribution. An experimental study was carried out to assess the performance of 30 circular well-confined bridge columns. Material strains, cross-section curvatures, and fixed-end rotations attributed to strain penetration of reinforcement into the adjoining member were quantified by using a three-dimesional (3D) position monitoring system. An equivalent curvature distribution was created that reflects the measured spread of plasticity and components of deformation. When compared with the current approach, the proposed modified plastic-hinge method improved the accuracy of both tensile and compressive strain-displacement predictions, while maintaining similar levels of accuracy for elastic displacements. These recommendations, combined with material strain limits defined in the larger research program, serve as input into a displacement-based design procedure to achieve a defined level of performance under a specific seismic hazard.


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  • Accession Number: 01602251
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jun 8 2016 3:03PM