Controlled Damage Rocking Systems for Accelerated Bridge Construction
Thesis DisciplineEarthquake Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
Bridge substructures are generally constructed using cast-in-place concrete and designed to undergo inelastic deformation in earthquake events. Although this construction approach has proven to be economical and provides adequate seismic performance through the formation of ductile plastic hinges, there are downsides relating to construction speed and quality, and post-earthquake repairability.
This thesis explores two categories of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) connection types, which use precast concrete instead of cast-in-place concrete to offer advantages including increased construction speed and quality. High Damage (HD) ABC connection types emulate the seismic behaviour of cast-in-place construction through the formation of ductile plastic hinges.
Controlled Damage (CD) ABC connection types use unbonded post-tensioned precast connections to offer additional advantages including reduced residual drifts, limited and controlled damage and simple repair options. Novel buckling-restrained, fused mild steel energy dissipators suitable for use in CD connections are also developed and tested. These designs utilise 'dry' fabrication to simplify the fabrication process and minimise cost.
Half-scale experimental testing is carried out to demonstrate both the assembly processes and behaviour under reversed cyclic uniaxial and biaxial loading representing an earthquake event. Following benchmark testing, repair strategies are applied to the CD connection types and the columns are tested again, representing a subsequent earthquake event. Good results are obtained from all cases with relatively straightforward construction and repair processes. With further developments and testing, the connection types proposed can provide competitive alternatives to conventional bridge pier design with regard to seismic performance and life cycle costs, with the additional benefits associated with precast construction.