Experimental study on the dynamic response of gravity-designed reinforced concrete connections
This paper reports an experimental program aiming to shed some light on the response of non-seismic RC beam-column joints to excitations of different frequencies. The RC connections tested were designed only for gravity loads, thus rendering the joint cores weaker than the adjoining members when subjected to a lateral load. Altogether, six tests were conducted on full-scale specimens, which were subjected to reversed cyclic displacements applied at different speeds varying from slow quasi-static loading to high-speed dynamic loading as fast as 20 Hz. Although all specimens expectedly suffered joint shear failure, the maximum joint shear stresses observed in the tested specimens, despite lacking transverse hoops inside the joint cores, were more than the horizontal shear stresses allowed in ductile RC joints with the same grade of concrete according to the existing seismic design codes. The damage patterns and failures of the specimens showed a better correlation with the residual storey shear stiffness rather than with the loss of storey shear strength during the repeated cycles. By analysing the test results, this paper also discusses how an inadvertent inertial force develops during high-speed displacement reversals.