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Modelling the Post-Peak Response of Existing Reinforced Concrete Frame Structures Subjected to Seismic Loading

Zimos, D.K. (2017). Modelling the Post-Peak Response of Existing Reinforced Concrete Frame Structures Subjected to Seismic Loading. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Structural members of reinforced concrete (R/C) buildings designed according to older, less stringent seismic codes are often vulnerable to shear or flexure-shear failure followed by axial failure. Thus, such substandard R/C structures are susceptible to vertical collapse, which pertains to the exceedance of vertical resistance of columns and connecting beams and can lead to the whole structure – or a substantial part of it – undergoing collapse.

The largest database of shear and flexure-shear critical R/C columns cycled well beyond the onset of shear failure and/or up to the onset of axial failure is compiled and empirical relationships are developed for key parameters affecting the response of such members after the initiation of shear failure. A novel shear hysteresis model is proposed employing these relationships, based on experimental observations that deformations after the onset of shear failure tend to concentrate in a specific member region.

A computationally efficient finite element model of the member-type is proposed, using the above shear hysteretic model and combining it with displacements arising from flexural and bond-slip deformations to get the full lateral force-lateral displacement response. It accounts for the interaction between flexural and shear deformations inside the potential plastic hinges, the distribution of flexural and shear flexibility along the element, as well as the location and extent of post-peak shear damage, without relying on assumptions about the bending moment distribution and avoiding shortcomings of previous beam-column models pertinent to numerical localisation. Thus, the full-range hysteretic response of substandard R/C elements can be predicted up to the onset of axial failure subsequent to shear failure with or without prior flexural yielding, while simultaneously accounting for potential flexural and anchorage failure modes.

The proposed model is implemented in a finite element structural analysis software and its predictive capabilities are verified against quasi-static cyclic and shake-table test results of column and frame specimens. The model is shown to be sufficiently accurate not only in terms of total response, but more crucially in terms of individual deformation components. Overall, it is believed that the accuracy, versatility and simplicity of this model make it a valuable tool in seismic analysis of complex substandard R/C buildings.

An experimental investigation of shear and flexure-shear critical R/C elements is carried out with the aim of independently validating the beam-column model. Furthermore, an opportunity is provided to verify the model’s underlying assumptions, which is of paramount importance for the reliability of its analytical predictions. The experiments were designed in such a manner as to investigate the effect of vertical load redistribution from axially failing members on the lateral post-peak response of neighbouring columns.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
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