Seismic Assessment of Pre-1970s Reinforced Concrete Structure
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
Reinforced concrete structures designed in pre-1970s are vulnerable under earthquakes due to lack of seismic detailing to provide adequate ductility. Typical deficiencies of pre-1970s reinforced concrete structures are (a) use of plain bars as longitudinal reinforcement, (b) inadequate anchorage of beam longitudinal reinforcement in the column (particularly exterior column), (c) lack of joint transverse reinforcement if any, (d) lapped splices located just above joint, and (e) low concrete strength. Furthermore, the use of infill walls is a controversial issue because it can help to provide additional stiffness to the structure on the positive side and on the negative side it can increase the possibility of soft-storey mechanisms if it is distributed irregularly. Experimental research to investigate the possible seismic behaviour of pre-1970s reinforced concrete structures have been carried out in the past. However, there is still an absence of experimental tests on the 3-D response of existing beam-column joints under bi-directional cyclic loading, such as corner joints. As part of the research work herein presented, a series of experimental tests on beam-column subassemblies with typical detailing of pre-1970s buildings has been carried out to investigate the behaviour of existing reinforced concrete structures. Six two-third scale plane frame exterior beam-column joint subassemblies were constructed and tested under quasi-static cyclic loading in the Structural Laboratory of the University of Canterbury. The reinforcement detailing and beam dimension were varied to investigate their effect on the seismic behaviour. Four specimens were conventional deep beam-column joint, with two of them using deformed longitudinal bars and beam bars bent in to the joint and the two others using plain round longitudinal bars and beam bars with end hooks. The other two specimens were shallow beam-column joint, one with deformed longitudinal bars and beam bars bent in to the joint, the other with plain round longitudinal bars and beam bars with end hooks. All units had one transverse reinforcement in the joint. The results of the experimental tests indicated that conventional exterior beam-column joint with typical detailing of pre-1970s building would experience serious diagonal tension cracking in the joint panel under earthquake. The use of plain round bars with end hooks for beam longitudinal reinforcement results in more severe damage in the joint core when compared to the use of deformed bars for beam longitudinal reinforcement bent in to the joint, due to the combination of bar slips and concrete crushing. One interesting outcome is that the use of shallow beam in the exterior beam-column joint could avoid the joint cracking due to the beam size although the strength provided lower when compared with the use of deep beam with equal moment capacity. Therefore, taking into account the low strength and stiffness, shallow beam can be reintroduced as an alternative solution in design process. In addition, the presence of single transverse reinforcement in the joint core can provide additional confinement after the first crack occurred, thus delaying the strength degradation of the structure. Three two-third scale space frame corner beam-column joint subassemblies were also constructed to investigate the biaxial loading effect. Two specimens were deep-deep beam-corner column joint specimens and the other one was deep-shallow beam-corner column joint specimen. One deep-deep beam-corner column joint specimen was not using any transverse reinforcement in the joint core while the two other specimens were using one transverse reinforcement in the joint core. Plain round longitudinal bars were used for all units with hook anchorage for the beam bars. Results from the tests confirmed the evidences from earthquake damage observations with the exterior 3-D (corner) beam-column joint subjected to biaxial loading would have less strength and suffer higher damage in the joint area under earthquake. Furthermore, the joint shear relation in the two directions is calibrated from the results to provide better analysis. An analytical model was used to simulate the seismic behaviour of the joints with the help of Ruaumoko software. Alternative strength degradation curves corresponding to different reinforcement detailing of beam-column joint unit were proposed based on the test results.