The Nonlinear Dynamics Involved in the Seismic Assessment and Retrofit of Reinforced Concrete Buildings
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Seismically vulnerable buildings constitute a major problem for the safety of human beings. In many parts of the world, reinforced concrete (RC) frame buildings designed and constructed with substandard detailing, no consideration of capacity design principles, and improper or no inclusion of the seismic actions, have been identified. Amongst those vulnerable building, one particular typology representative of the construction practice of the years previous to the 1970’s, that most likely represents the worst case scenario, has been widely investigated in the past. The deficiencies of that building typology are related to non-ductile detailing in beam column joints such as the use of plain round bars, the lack of stirrups inside the joint around the longitudinal reinforcement of the column, the use of 180° end hooks in the beams, the use of lap splices in potential ‘plastic hinge’ regions, and substandard quality of the materials. That type of detailing and the lack of a capacity design philosophy create a very fragile fuse in the structure where brittle inelastic behaviour is expected to occur, which is the panel zone region of exterior beam column joints.The non-ductile typology described above was extensively investigated at the University of Canterbury in the context of the project ‘Retrofit Solutions for New Zealand Multi-Storey Buildings’ (2004-2011), founded by the ‘Foundation for Research, Science and Technology’ Tūāpapa Rangahau Pūtaiao. The experimental campaign prior to the research carried out by the author consisted of quasi-static tests of beam column joint subassemblies subjected to lateral loading regime, with constant and varying axial load in the column. Most of those specimens were representative of a plane 2D frame (knee joint), while others represented a portion of a space 3D frame (corner joints), and only few of them had a floor slab, transverse beams, and lap splices. Using those experiments, several feasible, cost-effective, and non-invasive retrofit techniques were developed, improved, and refined. Nevertheless, the slow motion nature of those experiments did not take into account the dynamical component inherent to earthquake related problems. Amongst the set of techniques investigated, the use of FRP layers for strengthening beam column joints is of particular interest due to its versatility and the momentum that its use has gained in the current state of the practice. That particular retrofit technique was previously used to develop a strengthening scheme suitable for plane 2D and space 3D corner beam column joints, but lacking of floor slabs. In addition, a similar scheme was not developed for exterior joints of internal frames, referred here as ‘cruciform’.In this research a 2/5 scale RC frame model building comprising of two frames in parallel (external and internal) joined together by means of floor slabs and transverse beams, with non-ductile characteristics identical to those of the specimens investigated previously by others, and also including lap splices, was developed. In order to investigate the dynamic response of that building, a series of shake table tests with different ground motions were performed. After the first series of tests, the specimen was modified by connecting the spliced reinforcement in the columns in order to capture a different failure mode. Ground motions recorded during seismic events that occurred during the initial period of the experimental campaign (2010) were used in the subsequent experiments. The hierarchy of strengths and sequence of events in the panel zone region were evaluated in an extended version of the bending moment-axial load (M-N) performance domain developed by others. That extension was required due to the asymmetry in the beam cross section introduced by the floor slab. In addition, the effect of the torsion resistance provided by the spandrel (transverse beam) was included.In order to upgrade the brittle and unstable performance of the as-built/repaired specimen, a practical and suitable ad-hoc FRP retrofit intervention was developed, following a partial retrofit strategy that aimed to strengthen exterior beam column joints only (corner and cruciform). The ability of the new FRP scheme to revert the sequence of events in the panel zone region was evaluated using the extended version of the M-N performance domain as well as the guidelines for strengthening plane joints developed by others. Weakening of the floor slab in a novel configuration was also incorporated with the purpose of reducing the flexural capacity of the beam under negative bending moment (slab in tension), enabling the damage relocation from the joint into the beam. The efficacy of the developed retrofit intervention in upgrading the seismic performance of the as-built specimen was investigated using shake table tests with the input motions used in the experiments of the as-built/repaired specimen.Numerical work aimed to predict the response of the model building during the most relevant shake table tests was carried out. By using a simple numerical model with concentrated plasticity elements constructed in Ruaumoko2D, the results of blind and post-experimental predictions of the response of the specimen were addressed. Differences in the predicted response of the building using the nominal and the actual recorded motions of the shake table were investigated. The dependence of the accuracy of the numerical predictions on the assumed values of the parameters that control the hysteresis rules of key structural members was reviewed.During the execution of the experimental campaign part of this thesis, two major earthquakes affected the central part of Chile (27 of February 2010 Maule earthquake) and the Canterbury region in New Zealand (22 February 2011 Canterbury earthquake), respectively. As the author had the opportunity to experience those events and investigate their consequences in structures, the observations related to non-ductile detailing and drawbacks in the state of the practice related to reinforced concrete walls was also addressed in this research, resulting in preliminary recommendations for the refinement of current seismic code provisions and assessment guidelines. The investigations of the ground motions recorded during those and other earthquakes were used to review the procedures related to the input motions used for nonlinear dynamic analysis of buildings as required by most of the current code provisions. Inelastic displacement spectra were constructed using ground motions recorded during the earthquakes mentioned above, in order to investigate the adequacy of modification factors used to obtain reduced design spectra from elastic counterparts. Finally a simplified assessment procedure for RC walls that incorporates capacity compatible spectral demands is proposed.
SubjectsNonlinear Structural Dynamics
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