Seismic Simulation and Design of Bridge Columns under Combined Actions, and Implications or System Response

Bridge columns are subjected to combinations of actions and deformations, caused by spatially-complex earthquake ground motions, features of structural configurations and the interaction between input and response characteristics. Combined actions/loadings can have significant effects on the force and deformation capacity of reinforced concrete columns, resulting in unexpected large deformations and extensive damage that in turn influences the performance of bridges as vital components of transportation systems. These effects should be considered in earthquake analysis and design of bridges so that significant earthquake damage and severe disruption of transportation systems can be reduced. Current analysis methods, behavior theories and design practices do not take into consideration the full range of interactions, due to the scarcity of experimental data and a lack of behavioral understanding. Therefore, the objectives of the proposed project are to develop a fundamental knowledge of the impact of combined actions on column performance and system response and to establish analysis and design procedures that include the impact. The objectives will be realized by integrating analytical and experimental research where physical tests are driven by analyses and simulations that examine the system response of various bridge types under different loading conditions, and analytical models are calibrated by experimental data. A geographically distributed, highly qualified, diverse, multi-institutional, multi-national research team from NEES and non-NEES sites has been assembled that is ideally suited to undertake the scope. The experimental program includes quasi-static testing of twenty-eight large columns providing fundamental behavior including the impact of torsional moments at Missouri University of Science and Technology (UMR), pseudo-dynamic testing of five large and five small scale columns with variable axial load, within a bridge system simulation, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), real-time dynamic testing of twelve large scale columns with bidirectional and torsional inputs at University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), four tests provided by the University of Mexico (UNAM), plus an integrated experiment with three columns linked through simulation, conducted at UIUC by UMR. Fragility analysis will be undertaken, leading to the derivation of probabilistically-based fragility relationships for bridges subjected to combined loading. Simplified analysis and design tools will be developed as well as the necessary code language to change the existing practice. Extensive coordination has already begun between the US and Japanese researchers in an effort that culminates with large-scale testing on the E-defense table.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University of Nevada, Reno

    College of Engineering
    Reno, NV  United States  89557
  • Principal Investigators:

    Belarbi, Abdeldjelil

  • Start Date: 20050901
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20090831
  • Source Data: RiP Project 17929

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462601
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Infrastructure Engineering Studies
  • Contract Numbers: DTRS98-G-0021, 00010496
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:06PM