Development and validation of a metallic haunch seismic retrofit solution for existing under-designed RC frame buildings
The feasibility and efficiency of a seismic retrofit solution for existing reinforced concrete frame systems, designed before the introduction of modern seismic-oriented design codes in the mid 1970s, is conceptually presented and experimentally investigated. A diagonal metallic haunch system is introduced at the beam-column connections to protect the joint panel zone from extensive damage and brittle shear mechanisms, while inverting the hierarchy of strength within the beam-column subassemblies and forming a plastic hinge in the beam. A complete step-by-step design procedure is suggested for the proposed retrofit strategy to achieve the desired reversal of strength hierarchy. Analytical formulations of the internal force flow at the beam-column-joint level are derived for the retrofitted joints. The study is particularly focused on exterior beam-column joints, since it is recognized that they are the most vulnerable, due to their lack of a reliable joint shear transfer mechanism. Results from an experimental program carried out to validate the concept and the design procedure are also presented. The program consisted of quasi-static cyclic tests on four exterior, scaled, beam-column joint subassemblies, typical of pre-1970 construction practice using plain round bars with end-hooks, with limited joint transverse reinforcement and detailed without capacity design considerations. The first (control specimen) emulated the as-built connection while the three others incorporated the proposed retrofitted configurations. The experimental results demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed solution for upgrading non-seismically designed RC frames and also confirmed the applicability of the proposed design procedure and of the analytical derivations.