Accelerated bridge construction (ABC) utilizes prefabricated bridge elements constructed off-site, delivered, and assembled on-site to expedite construction time and reduce traffic disruption. ABC has been increasingly used for super- and sub-structure elements in low seismic regions. However, its application in medium and high seismic regions remain limited, particularly for precast columns where connections typically coincide with plastic hinge (PH) regions. Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC), characterized by high compressive and tensile strength, and superior bond properties, is a potential material that can mitigate PH damage and enhance load transfer. This research proposes a new and simple damage tolerant precast column connection for use in medium and high seismic regions. The connection laps the column longitudinal reinforcement with footing dowels using a short splice length, a practical concrete cover, no shear reinforcement, and the shifted PH concept to prevent footing damage. Two 0.42-scale precast columns with different shear span ratios were tested under reversed cyclic loading to investigate the proposed connection relative to previously tested cast-in-place specimens. Results showed the connection performed well in shear, developed column longitudinal bars, shifted PH formation above the UHPC connection, and exhibited high lateral capacity and ductility. Twenty-seven pullout and lap splice beams were tested to study the bond of reinforcement in UHPC under different parameters and stress states. Results indicated significant bond strength improvement and splice length reduction compared with conventional concrete. The pullout specimens were simulated using the OpenSees framework to propose reinforcing steel in UHPC bond-slip models where existing studies in the literature were limited. The models were incorporated into the numerical modeling of the precast columns using one-dimensional fiber-section and two-dimensional plane stress nonlinear analyses. Results from the two modeling methods showed good agreement with the experiments, with the calibrated bond-slip models providing a good representation of load transfer in the connection.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Chan, Titchenda, "Ultra-High Performance Concrete for Precast Seismic Bridge Column Connection" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6462.