Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Nonlinear finite element analysis of reinforced concrete structures strengthened with FRP laminates

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  • The Horsetail Creek (HC) bridge is an example of an Oregon bridge that was classified as structurally deficient and was not designed to withstand earthquake (EQ) excitations. A fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) rehabilitation was performed on the HC bridge to increase flexural and shear capacities for traffic loads. However, a seismic retrofit has not yet been accomplished for this bridge. Fully three-dimensional finite element (FE) models are developed to simulate and examine the structural behavior of both full-size reinforced concrete (RC) beams and the HC bridge using ANSYS. FE analyses are compared with tests of full-scale beams replicating the transverse beams of the HC bridge before and after FRP strengthening from linear and nonlinear ranges up to failure. The FE models can effectively predict the behavior of the beams, and analytical and experimental results correlate very well. For the FE analyses of the HC bridge, soil-structure interface modeling is incorporated to replicate the actual bridge boundary conditions. Truck loadings are applied to the FE model at different locations, as in the actual bridge test. A sensitivity study is performed by varying uncertain bridge parameters to develop an FE bridge model best representing the actual bridge conditions. The optimal FE model obtained from the sensitivity study can accurately predict the magnitudes and trends in the strains. After an optimal FE bridge model is established, a performance evaluation on the FRP strengthening of the HC bridge is conducted. Both unstrengthened and FRP-strengthened bridge models are subjected to two different types of loading; i.e., scaled gravity and scaled truck loads to failure. Comparisons of results show the improvement in structural performance due to FRP strengthening. A seismic risk-related investigation of the HC bridge is also carried out. Nonlinear time-history analyses are performed using EQ acceleration-time histories applied to the HC bridge model. The ground motions are appropriate to the Pacific Northwest site and scaled so that the response spectrum, within natural periods of interest, matches the 1996 AASHTO design response spectrum. Based on the analytical results, colunm confinement is recommended to increase ductility and reduce potential for substructure collapse in future seismic events.
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