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ALMA MATER STUDIORUM UNIVERSITA DI BOLOGNA

FACOLTA DI INGEGNERIA
International Master Course in Civil Engineering

D.I.C.A.M.
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e dei Materiali

Tesi di Laurea Specialistica in


Earthquake Engineering

SEISMIC RESPONSE OF SELF-CENTERING PRECAST


CONCRETE DUAL-SHELL STEEL COLUMNS

Laureando:

Relatore:

Athanassios Vervelidis

Chiar.mo Prof. Ing. Marco Savoia


Correlatori:
Chiar.mo Prof. Ing. Jos I. Restrepo
Dott. Ing. Gabriele Guerrini

Sessione III
Anno Accademico 2010/2011

Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction .............................................................................................. 3


Chapter 2 Test Setup ................................................................................................ 6
2.1 Construction of the test units ............................................................................. 8
2.2 Specimens components ................................................................................. 16
2.2.1 Footing ..................................................................................................... 16
2.2.2 Load stub ................................................................................................. 19
2.2.3 Column..................................................................................................... 21
2.2.4 Energy dissipating devices....................................................................... 23
2.2.4.1 Unit 1A External energy dissipators ............................................... 23
2.2.4.2 Unit 1B Internal energy dissipators ................................................ 26
2.2.5 Mortar bed................................................................................................ 28
2.2.5.1 Unit 1A Embeco 885 grout ............................................................. 29
2.2.5.2 Unit 1B Embeco 885 grout with polypropylene fibers .................... 29
2.2.6 Post-tensioning system ............................................................................ 30
2.2.6.1 Unit 1A Square rubber pads .......................................................... 31
2.2.6.2 Unit 1B Circular Fyfe discs............................................................. 32
2.3 Material properties .......................................................................................... 34
2.3.1 Concrete .................................................................................................. 34
2.3.2 Grout ........................................................................................................ 36
2.3.2.1 Plastic mortar .................................................................................... 36
2.3.2.2 Fluid grout ......................................................................................... 37
2.3.3 Steel ......................................................................................................... 38
2.3.4 Bearing pads ............................................................................................ 40
2.4 Instrumentation ............................................................................................... 42
2.4.1 Strain gauges ........................................................................................... 42
2.4.2 Potentiometers and inclinometers ............................................................ 46
2.4.3 Load cells ................................................................................................. 49
2.4.4 Other instrumentation .............................................................................. 49
2.5 Test protocol ................................................................................................... 50

Chapter 3 Experimental Results ............................................................................ 54


3.1 Test unit 1A ..................................................................................................... 54
3.2 Test unit 1B ..................................................................................................... 64
Chapter 4 Numerical Modeling of the Tests .......................................................... 71
4.1 Material models ............................................................................................... 74
4.1.1 Concrete 01 ............................................................................................. 74
4.1.2 Steel 02 .................................................................................................... 78
4.2 Model components .......................................................................................... 81
4.2.1 Column..................................................................................................... 81
4.2.2 Energy dissipating devices....................................................................... 82
4.2.3 Mortar bed................................................................................................ 86
4.2.4 Post-tensioning bars ................................................................................ 87
4.3 Analysis parameters ........................................................................................ 89
Chapter 5 Comparison between Experimental and Numerical Results .............. 91
5.1 Test unit 1A ..................................................................................................... 91
5.2 Test unit 1B ..................................................................................................... 98
Chapter 6 Conclusions ......................................................................................... 103
Appendix A Compressive Cylinder Strengths of Cementitious Materials........ 106
Appendix B Specimens Drawings ....................................................................... 109
Appendix C OpenSees Script for the Numerical Model ..................................... 140
References ............................................................................................................. 177
Acknowledgements ............................................................................................... 179

Chapter 1
Introduction

The impact and cost of the consequences of earthquake-induced damage on


structures have raised serious questions on whether current seismic design
philosophies are satisfying the needs of modern society. Most seismic design
standards are based on a life-safety approach, where structural damage is accepted
provided that collapse is avoided (Restrepo, 2002).
Designing a structure to respond elastically under severe earthquakes has generally
been considered impractical for economical reasons. Current seismic design
philosophies for ductile reinforced concrete bridges allow them to respond beyond
the elastic limit, with the inelastic behavior localized within plastic hinge regions at the
bottom and/or top of the pier elements. The system is therefore built with regions that
will be sacrificed during moderate and strong earthquakes and may require from
minor to expensive repair work. In addition, the occurrence of severe damage or
partial collapse of a bridge system can lead to critical consequences associated to
the interruption of a fundamental road path, such as obstruction of rescue and
recovery operations and economical losses related to business interruption,
displacement of people, and goods (Palermo, et al., 2008).
This has led to focus on cost-effective seismic structural systems capable of
providing a high level of protection, low structural damage, and reduced downtime
after a design-level seismic event. An example of such technology is the combination
of unbonded post-tensioning techniques with rockingdissipating connections
(Marriot, et al., 2008). The non-linear demand is accommodated within the
connections themselves, through the opening and closing of a gap at the columnfooting and column-bent cap interfaces. No or negligible damage is induced in the
main structural elements, as opposite to what would occur in a monolithic solution
with the development of plastic hinges, and self-centering behavior is achieved. A
particularly efficient jointed ductile solution is given by the hybrid system, based on
an adequate combination of self-centering/rocking properties (provided by unbonded

post-tensioning and gravity forces) with energy dissipation capacity (localized within
additional dissipating devices) (Palermo, et al., 2008).
The typical hysteretic behavior of monolithic, purely rocking, and hybrid structures is
schematized in Figure 1.1. The conventional system (Fig. 1.1-a) offers large energy
dissipation, represented by fat hysteretic loops, at the expenses of structural integrity
and significant residual deformations. The purely rocking solution (Fig. 1.1-b) is
characterized by non-linear elastic behavior, due to gap-opening at the base, with
self-centering properties but no o very little dissipation. The hybrid system (Fig. 1.1-c)
provides a trade-off between these two extremes: balancing re-centering forces and
energy

dissipation

leads

to

a flag-shaped response,

with small

residual

displacements but relatively fat loops.


The innovative bridge column technology developed and tested at the University of
California, San Diego (UCSD) combines a precast concrete hollow-core column with
on-site post-tensioning and added energy dissipation. The column consists of two
cylindrical steel shells (dual-shell technology) that run for the full-height of the
column, with concrete sandwiched in between. The outer shell acts as permanent
formwork, and provides longitudinal and transverse reinforcement. The inner shell
also behaves as permanent formwork, and prevents concrete implosion under large
compressive strains. Constructability is enhanced by the use of a precast element of
reduced weight (hollow-core section) without a reinforcing cage (Guerrini, et al.,
2011).

Fig. 1.1 Hysteretic response of various structural systems (Holden, et al., 2003)

Large inelastic rotations can be attained with minimal structural damage: the
column-footing joint is allowed to open in tension under severe lateral displacement
demand, and to close subsequently upon load reversal. Re-centering behavior is
ensured by post-tensioned (PT) bars, designed to respond elastically. A special
connection between column, bent cap, foundation, and PT bars allows for eventual
bar replacement, should corrosion or other damage to the bar be a concern.
Energy dissipation takes place through extensive yielding in tension and
compression of internal dowel bars or external buckling-restrained devices,
preventing the main structural members (column, footing, bent cap) from suffering
significant damage. Under a strong-intensity shake only these devices are expected
to undergo multiple cycles within the inelastic range of response, with possible need
of replacement, but the structure is expected to remain functional overall.
In order to obtain a flag-shaped hysteretic response, the self-centering forces
(gravity and post-tensioning) must be large enough to overcome the overstrength
capacity of the energy dissipators, thus forcing them in compression and closing the
gap at each cycle. Care must be paid to prevent post-tensioning losses due to
yielding of the PT bars or crushing of the mortar at the precast elements joints: these
issues are addressed with connection details and material choices.
The main objective of this thesis is the development of a reliable numerical model
for hybrid self-centering dual-shell columns, able to reproduce the behavior of the
specimen recorded during tests. It is expected that such numerical model can be
used in future for implementation in broader structural systems and for dynamic
analyses. This task was addressed with the aid of the open-source software
OpenSees, developed by the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER)
Center at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB).
Following this brief introduction, Chapter 2 describes the experimental work done at
UCSD on two hybrid column specimens, including external (test unit 1A) and internal
(test unit 1B) energy dissipating devices. The experimental results for both test units
are presented and discussed in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 focuses on the modeling of the
two specimens; the test results were used to calibrate the numerical model. The
accuracy of the model is addressed in Chapter 5, where experimental and numerical
results are compared. Final considerations regarding the behavior of the overall
system and the modeling procedure are reported in Chapter 6, together with some
recommendations for future research.

Chapter 2
Test Setup

The behavior of the innovative bridge column technology, introduced in the previous
chapter, was assessed by means of laboratory testing at the Powell Structural
Engineering Laboratories of the University of California, San Diego. The experimental
program consisted of unidirectional quasi-static tests conducted on two specimens
intended to represent 1:2.4 scale recentering hybrid bridge columns. In both cases
the column diameter was 0.51 m (20 in) while the total cantilever span above the
footing, to the point of lateral load application, was 1.13 m (44.5 in). A low aspect
ratio of 2.2 was chosen to induce a large ultimate base shear for a given crosssection, thus leading to a more critical condition for sliding at the base. Moreover, a
short element can accommodate short post-tensioning bars, which have a low elastic
axial flexibility and need to be protected against yielding.
The components of the test units are listed below:
Test Unit 1A:

Test Unit 1B:

Footing

Footing

Load stub

Load stub

Column

Column

External energy dissipating devices

Internal energy dissipating devices

Mortar bed

Fiber-reinforced mortar bed

Post-tensioning system including

Post-tensioning system including

rubber bearings

adiprene bearings

In the first section of this chapter the construction of the specimens is described,
while their components are presented in detail in the second section. The third
section reports the specimens material properties. The fourth section deals with the
instrumentation used to record the behavior of the two units. Finally the test protocol
is presented in the last section.
6

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.1 Meridian sections: (a) test unit 1A and (b) unit 1B.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.2 Specimens before testing: (a) test unit 1A and (b) unit 1B.

2.1 Construction of the Test Units


As the first stage of specimens construction, reinforcing cages were assembled for
the footing and the load stub (Fig. 2.3). The cages were then placed within wooden
formworks, together with anchorages for the post-tensioning bars, corrugated ducts
for the energy dissipators, and PVC ducts for the connection with tie-down rods and
actuator (Fig. 2.4)..
Two steel shells, having the inner and outer diameters of the hollow-core column,
were positioned using a wooden template at the base (Fig. 2.5). Six steel brackets
were welded to the outer shell, to be used for the external dissipator devices of unit
1A. Six corrugated steel ducts were welded to the inner shell at the upper end, to be
used for the internal energy dissipators of unit 1B. The shells acted as permanent
formworks for the column casting.
Concrete was poured for the footing, the load stub, and the column, thought to be
precast elements in real applications. Once the concrete had hardened, the
temporary formworks were removed from footing and load stub, and the interfaces
between the three elements were roughened (Fig. 2.6) to increase friction.

Fig. 2.3 Reinforcement for the footing and the load stub.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.4 Formworks and reinforcement prior to concrete pouring: (a) footing and
(b) load stub. Corrugated and PVC ducts are visible.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.5 (a) Steel shells positioned with a wooden template. (b) Ducts for the
internal dissipators.

Fig. 2.6 Column end surface roughened to increase friction.


The first assemblage step for unit 1A consisted of screwing four post-tensioning
(PT) bars into their anchorages within the footing. These bars were then sleeved with
metal ducts for the entire height of the column, and grouted, to simulate protection
against corrosion (Fig. 2.7)
After having protected the ducts for the internal dissipators of test Unit 1B with rugs
and foam, a 12.7-mm (0.5-in) thick mortar bed was cast over the footing and the
column was placed on top of it (Fig. 2.8). A wooden template was used to center the
column. Before mortar hardening, the column weight was supported by six 12.7-mm
(0.5-in) diameter polyurethane sticks.

Fig. 2.7 Post-tensioning bars within grouted ducts for corrosion protection.

10

Fig. 2.8 Realization of the mortar bed.

Fig. 2.9 Grouting of external dissipator anchorages within ducts in the footing.

11

With the column positioned, six steel dowel bars providing anchorage for the
external dissipators were placed inside ducts in the footing and grouted (Fig. 2.9).
Steel brackets had previously been welded to the upper end of these bars, and were
left sticking out from the footing surface. Steel angles and C-clamps were used to
align these anchorages with the brackets on the outer shell.
Prior to positioning the load stub, two post-tensioning bars were instrumented with
straing gauges right above the grouted portion. Then a 25.4-mm (1-in) thick layer of
hydrostone was prepared on the column top, and. the load stub was seated above it
(Fig. 2.10). A temporary scaffolding was build to support the load stub during
hydrostone hardening.

Fig. 2.10 Placement of the load stub on scaffolding and realization of the
hydrostone joint.

12

Six external buckling-restrained energy dissipators were assembled, starting from


dog-bone milled steel bars, grouted within steel tubes to prevent buckling (Fig. 2.11).
The milled portion of the bars was greased to minimize friction with the grout, while
the taper was covered with mastic tape to reduce interaction with the grout in
compression. These devices were then welded to the steel brackets of the column
outer shell and of the footing anchorages (Fig. 2.12).

Fig. 2.11 Assemblage of the external energy dissipators.

Fig. 2.12 Welding of the external dissipators to thei anchorages in the footing and
on the column outer shell.

13

The last construction stages for unit 1A consisted of stressing the post-tensioning
bars and completing the instrumentation. To provide additional flexibility to the posttensioning system and prevent yielding of the bars, stacks of rubber pads alternated
with steel plates were placed in series with the PT bars on top of the loading stub
(Fig. 2.13-a). Rubber pads and steel plates were bonded together using an epoxy
adhesive (Fig. 2.13-b).
After testing specimen 1A, the unit was disassembled and its main components
column, footing, and load stub were used for unit 1B. In fact, only the lower portion
of the cantilever column was subject to critical stresses and strains during lateral
deflection: the remaining part of the column and the other elements were designed to
remain elastic.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.13 Stack of rubber pads and steel plates: (a) location between the load stub
and PT bearing plates, (b) epoxying operations.

14

Similar steps were followed in the assemblage of test unit 1B with few differences.
Six stainless-steel internal dowels were used as energy dissipating devices instead
of external buckling-restrained ones. Before column placement the dowels were
grouted within prearranged ducts in the footing (Fig. 2.14-a); the column was then
positioned, with the dowels matching its prearranged ducts (Fig. 2.14-b); finally these
ducts were grouted through pre-drilled holes.
The mortar at the column-footing joint was reinforced with polypropylene fibers, and
Fyfe polyurethane discs were used instead of rubber pads for the PT system, to
improve the recentering behavior at large lateral drifts.
In the following section the specimens components are presented in detail.

(a)

(b)
Fig. 2.14 Internal energy dissipators: (a) dowel bars grouted within ducts in the
footing, (b) dowel bars matching column ducts during column placement.

15

2.2 Specimens components


2.2.1 Footing
High-strength normal-weight concrete was used to cast the footing. The specified
concrete compressive strength at 28 days was 62 MPa (9.0 ksi), the ones measured
at 28 days, 49 days (day of testing Unit1A) and 96 days (day of testing Unit1B) were
66 MPa (9.5 ksi), 70 MPa (10.2 ksi), and 72 MPa (10.4 ksi) respectively; each value
was obtained as the average from tests on three standard cylinders. Detailed results
from material tests are presented in Appendix A.
The footing consisted of a 1.83-m (6-ft) long, 1.22-m (4-ft) wide, 0.61-m (2-ft) high
reinforced concrete beam. Ten #6 (19-mm diameter) top and bottom U bent bars
provided longitudinal reinforcement, while ten #3 (9.5-mm diameter) 4-legs stirrups
constituted the transverse reinforcement; two #3 bars were placed along each side
face of the beam as skin reinforcement. All the reinforcing steel in the footing
consisted of Grade 60 rebars conforming to the ASTM designation A615, with a
specified yield strength of 420 MPa (60 ksi)
Two series of six 50.8-mm (2-in) diameter steel ducts for the energy dissipators,
four anchorage devices for the PT bars, and four 63.5-mm (2.5-in) diameter PVC
pipes for the tie-down rods were provided in the footing. A #3 (9.5-mm diameter)
spiral reinforcement, with a 76.2-mm (3-in) pitch and a diameter of 660 mm (26 in),
was placed around the dissipator ducts for concrete confinement. Footing details are
shown in Figures 2.15 and 2.16.
Each PT-bar anchorage was obtained from a vertical PT-bar segment, with a
diameter of 34.9 mm (1-3/8 in) and a length of 0.5 m (19.5 in). A plate and a nut were
located at the lower end, while a coupler was provided at the upper end to be
connected with the main bar (Figs. 2.17 and 2.18). In order to rely only on the
bearing effect of the bottom plate and to avoid friction along the bar segment
embedded in the concrete, this segment was wrapped with duct tape. This would
prevent post-tensioning losses due to subsequent slippage, since all movements
take place during stressing operations.
The footing was connected to the strong floor by means of four 4.45-cm (1.75-in)
diameter tie-down rods tensioned at 979 kN (220 kips) each.

16

Fig. 2.15 Construction drawings of the footing.

Fig. 2.16 Footing details and casting.

17

Fig. 2.17 Construction drawings of PT-bars anchorage devices.

Fig. 2.18 PT-bar anchorage devices in the footing.

18

2.2.2 Load stub


The load stub on the top of the column consisted of a 2.44-m (8-ft) long, 0.76-m (30in) wide, 0.51-m (20-in) high reinforced concrete beam, cast with the same concrete
used for the footing and having therefore the same characteristics.
Four #6 (19-mm diameter) top and bottom U bent bars provided longitudinal
reinforcement, while sixteen #3 (9.5-mm diameter) 2-legs stirrups at 150-mm (6-in)
spacing constituted the transverse reinforcement. Grade 60 rebars conforming to the
ASTM designation A615, with a specified yield strength of 420 MPa (60 ksi), were
used for the load stub.
Four horizontal 63.5-mm (2.5-in) diameter PVC pipes were provided in the load stub
to connect the actuator. Two vertical 63.5-mm (2.5-in) diameter PVC pipes were
placed close to the member ends in order to apply the vertical load by tie-down rods
and jacks. Four vertical 50.8-mm (2-in) diameter PVC ducts allowed the posttensioning bars to run through the load stub. Figures 2.19 and 2.20 show details of
the member.

Fig. 2.19 Construction drawings of the load stub.


19

Fig. 2.20 Load-stub details and casting.

20

2.2.3 Column
The column element had a length of 0.84 m (33 in) and a hollow circular cross
section, with a 0.51-m (20-in) outer diameter and a 0.36-m (14-in) inner diameter.
The column consisted of two concentric circular steel shells running for its full length,
with high-performance concrete poured in between the shells. The concrete had the
same characteristics of the one used to cast the footing.
Both shells acted as permanent formwork during concrete casting. The outer shell
substituted longitudinal and transverse reinforcement, with stresses being transferred
between steel and concrete through weld beads on the internal surface of the shell.
The inner shell prevented concrete implosion under large compressive strains. Both
shells were obtained folding and welding steel plates of Grade 50 material
conforming to the ASTM designation A572, with a specified yield strength of 345
MPa (50 ksi). The outer steel shell had a diameter of 0.51 m (20 in) and a thickness
of 6.4 mm (0.25 in), while the inner shell had a diameter of 0.36 m (14 in) and a
thickness of 3.2 mm (0.125 in).
The column was equipped with six radially distributed 12.7-mm (0.5-in) thick steel
plates, welded to the outer shell: they acted as brackets for the installation of the
external dissipators of unit 1A (see 2.2.4.1) and were designed to withstand the
ultimate strength of these devices. Six 50.8-mm (2-in) diameter, 0.46-m (18-in) long,
corrugated metal ducts were left in the concrete for the installation of the internal
dissipators of unit 1B.
All welds were realized with an E70 electrode (480-MPa ultimate strength)
conforming to AWS D1.1 Structural Welding Code specifications.
Column details are shown in Figures 2.21 and 2.22.

21

Fig. 2.21 Construction drawings of the column.

Fig. 2.22 Column details and casting.

22

2.2.4 Energy dissipating devices


2.2.4.1 Unit 1A External energy dissipators
Six external energy dissipating devices were incorporated in test Unit 1A, radially
distributed around the perimeter. They were obtained from steel bars with a reduced
diameter over a specific length (dog-bone milled bar), where the dissipation was
provided by hysteresis of the material. The 343-mm (13.5-in) long steel bar had a
virgin diameter of 25.4 mm (1 in), which was reduced to 14.3 mm (9/16 in) in the
milled part for a length of 165 mm (6.5 in). Hot-rolled Grade 1018 steel, conforming to
the ASTM Designation A576, with a measured yield strength of 290 MPa (42 ksi),
was used for the external dissipators. Figures 2.23 and 2.24 show details of these
devices.
In order to prevent buckling phenomena and to allow for full plasticity development
on both tensile and compressive ranges, the entire milled part was encased in a steel
pipe and grouted. BASF Embeco 885 grout with fluid consistency was used at this
scope. Furthermore, the tapered segments between the virgin and milled parts were
wrapped with mastic tape to avoid interactions between bar and grout under
compression and allow for shortening of the bar (Fig. 2.24). The entire milled part of
the bar was specifically greased to reduce friction with the grout.
Grade 60 steel rebars, with a specified yield strength of 420 MPa (60 ksi)
conforming to the ASTM Designation A706, were welded to steel connectors and
positioned inside the footing to provide anchorage for the external dissipators of unit
1A (Figs. 2.25-a and 2.26-a). Brackets were welded on the column outer shell to
connect the external dissipators (Figs. 2.25-b and 2.26-b). All brackets and
connectors were obtained from A572 Grade 50 steel plates, with a specified yield
stress of 345 MPa (50 ksi), and were proportioned to resist the ultimate force carried
by the devices.
The dissipators were welded to the connection brackets after column, footing, and
load stub had been assembled (Fig. 2.12). All welds were performed with an E70
electrode (480-MPa ultimate strength) conforming to AWS D1.1 Structural Welding
Code specifications, and were designed to withstand the ultimate strength of the
dissipators. The final assemblage is shown on Figure 2.27.

23

Fig. 2.23 Construction drawings of external energy dissipators.

Fig. 2.24 Details of external energy dissipators.

24

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.25 Construction drawings of the steel connectors for external energy
dissipators: (a) connector for footing anchorage, (b) bracket for column outer shell

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.26 Details of the steel connectors for external dissipators: (a) anchorage in
the footing, (b) bracket on the column outer shell.

25

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.27 External energy dissipators: (a) assembled device, (b) devices mounted
on unit 1A.
2.2.4.2 Unit 1B Internal energy dissipators
Six energy dissipating devices in the form of stainless steel dowel bars, radially
distributed around the column, were incorporated in test unit 1B. The dowels were
grouted inside the footing and column, and were unbonded with duct tape across the
column-footing interface. Energy dissipation was provided by hysteresis of the
material in the unbonded part.
The proposed internal dissipators consisted of #4 (12.7-mm diameter) stainless
steel rebars, conforming to the ASTM Designation 316 LN Grade 75, with a specified
yield strength of 517.11 MPa (75 ksi). Each bar was 0.81-m (32-in) long with an
unbonded central segment of 0.18 m (7 in). Figure
The dissipators were grouted inside ducts, prearranged in the column and footing,
using BASF Embeco 885 grout with fluid consistency. The grouting process was
performed with the aid of a wooden template and C-clamps to hold the dowels in
place in the footing (Fig. 2.29), while grout inlet and air outlet holes were predrilled at
the bottom and top of the column ducts, respectively (Fig. 2.30).

26

Fig. 2.28 Construction drawing of internal energy dissipators.

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.29 Grouting of the internal dissipators in the footing: (a) wooden template
and C-clamp holding a dowel in place, (b) dowel after grouting. Half of the unbonded
length is visible above the footing surface.

27

(a)

(b)

Fig. 2.30 Grouting of the internal dissipators in the column: (a) Detail of the grout
inlet, (b) detail of the air outlet.

2.2.5 Mortar bed


Given the precast nature of the Dual-Shell technology, it is important to take into
account construction tolerances during assemblage of the precast components. To
compensate for lack of precision in the construction and positioning of the members,
it is necessary to leave some space between them to be filled with grout or mortar
once they have been assembled.
However, rocking of the column relies on the opening of a gap between the column
itself and the footing and, in the case of multiple-column bent, also between the
column and the cap beam. Upon rocking, large compressive strains and stresses
arise on the mortar, making a high-performance material necessary for this
application. In fact, crushing of the mortar may lead to a loss of post-tensioning,
which in turn would result in partial or total loss of recentering behavior.
In the specific case, the mortar joint had a thickness of 12.7 mm (0.5 in). It was
obtained mixing BASF Embeco 885 grout with a low percentage of water in order to
have a plastic consistency. This product is characterized by a well-graded blend of
metallic and quartz aggregate, which gives it high strength and good impact
resistance, and therefore makes it ideal for use under cyclic loading. The external
28

diameter of the mortar bed was smaller than the diameter of the outer steel shell, in
order to avoid contact between the two materials and to prevent the shell from
initiating mortar crushing (Fig. 2.31).

2.2.5.1 Unit 1A Embeco 885 grout


For unit 1A the mortar was obtained from Embeco 885 grout without adding any
fibers. The producer specifies a compressive strength of 76 MPa (11 ksi) at 28 days,
while the one obtained from material tests after 29 and 49 days (day of testing of unit
1A) were 46.4 MPa (6.7 ksi) and 49.16 MPa (7.1 ksi), respectively.

2.2.5.2 Unit 1B Embeco 885 grout with polypropylene fibers


For test Unit1B the mortar was reinforced with Durafiber polypropylene fibers. This
inhibited the growth of cracks once formed, thus preserving the integrity of the mortar
for longer. The compressive cylinder strength obtained from material tests after 28
and 35 days (day of testing Unit1B) were 53.4 MPa (7.8 ksi) and 52.9 MPa (7.7 ksi),
respectively.

Fig. 2.31 Detail of the mortar bed (test unit 1B): external diameter smaller than the
outer-steel-shell diameter to retard mortar crushing.

29

2.2.6 Post-tensioning system


Post-tensioning was provided by four 34.9-mm (1-3/8 in) diameter DSI Threadbars,
made of hot-rolled Grade 150 steel conforming to the ASTM Designation A722, with
a specified ultimate strength of 1034 MPa (150 ksi). Each bar was post-tensioned to
a force of 200 kN (45 kips) from the top, for a total of 801-kN (180-kips) initial posttensioning.
The 2.87-m (113-in) long bars were running within the column hollow core, and
were sleeved in metal (unit 1A) or PVC (unit 1B) ducts filled with fluid BASF Embeco
885 grout to simulate corrosion protection. The bars were screwed into the
anchorage devices prearranged in the footing (see 2.2.1) as shown in Figure 2.33, to
allow for subsequent replacement. The anchorage on top of the load stub was
realized by means of 3 steel plates, to uniformly distribute the force on rubber (unit
1A) or polyurethane (unit 1B) bearings underneath.

Fig. 2.32 Post-tensioning bar size and length.

Fig. 2.33 Post-tensioning bars screwed into footing anchorages (test unit 1A).

30

In order to preserve the recentering capacity of the system it is important that, upon
gap opening, the tensile strain increment on the PT bars does not lead them to
yielding: this would result in a prestress loss, impairing the functionality of the rocking
system. For this reason, additional deformability was provided to the post-tensioning
bars by placing rubber or polyurethane bearings between the top anchorage plates
and the load stub. With this configuration the tensile deformation demand on the bars
was partially transformed into compressive deformation of the rubber pads. The
bearings acted therefore as springs in series with the bars, increasing the elastic
deformability of the group and avoiding yielding of the bars.

2.2.6.1 Unit 1A Square rubber pads


A bearing made of five square rubber pads alternated with six square steel plates,
with central holes to accommodate the bars, was provided to each PT bar in test unit
1A (Figs. 2.34 and 2.35). Square rubber pads had a side of 191-mm (7.5-in) and a
thickness of 25.4 mm (1 in). Square steel plates had a side of 197 mm (7.75 in) and a
thickness of 3.2 mm (1/8 in). The steel plates were intended to limit the lateral
expansion of the rubber pads under compression, and for this reason they were
joined to the pads by means of an epoxy adhesive; however this practice proved to
be ineffective, with the pads squeezing between the plates.

Fig. 2.34 Construction drawing of the top PT anchorage of test unit 1A.

31

Fig. 2.35 Rubber pad and PT anchorage of test unit 1A.

2.2.6.2 Unit 1B Circular Fyfe discs


A bearing made of four Fyfe discs alternated with five circular steel plates, with
central holes to accommodate the bars, was provided to each PT bar in test unit 1A
(Figs. 2.36 and 2.37). Fyfe discs are made of adiprene, a special polyurethane
material developed by Edward Fyfe. Urethane discs had a diameter of 191 mm (7.5
in) and a thickness of 47.6 mm (1-7/8 in). Cirular steel plates had a diameter of 191
mm (7.5 in) and a thickness of 3.2 mm (1/8 in). The steel plates were intended to limit
the lateral expansion of the urethane discs under compression, and for this reason
they were joined to the discs by means of an epoxy adhesive; however this practice
proved to be ineffective, with the discs squeezing between the plates.

32

Fig. 2.36 Construction drawing of the top PT anchorage of test unit 1B.

Fig. 2.37 Fyfe disc and PT anchorage of test unit 1B during bar tensioning.

33

2.3 Material properties


The materials employed for the construction of the specimen have been
characterized in the university laboratory; in the followings the results obtained are
reported.

2.3.1 Concrete
High-performance concrete was used to cast the column, the load stub and the
foundation. Concrete compressive strength was measured on standard cylinders
(Fig. 2.38) with a diameter of 152 mm (6 in) and a height of 305 mm (12 in). Tests
were performed at 28 days after casting, at 49 days (day of test of unit 1A) and at 96
days (day of test of unit 1B). Results are listed in Table 2.1. Each value presented is
the average from three specimens tested. The measured values were larger than the
specified strength of 62 MPa (9 ksi) at 28 days.
The concrete modulus of elasticity Ec, defined as the slope of the secant line at 45%
of the compressive cylinder strength, was obtained from the ACI relation below and
summarized in Table 2.1:
= 571000 []

material age
[days]
28
49 (DOT, Unit1A)
96 (DOT, Unit1B)

f' c
[MPa]
65.5
70.2
71.8

Ec
[ksi]
9.5
10.2
10.4

[MPa]
38317
39643
40102

[ksi]
5557
5750
5816

Tab.2.1 Concrete compressive strength and modulus of elasticity at various ages.

34

Fig. 2.38 Preparation of concrete cylinders for material testing.


The consistency and workability of the concrete were assessed by the standard
slump test (Fig. 2.39). The resulting slump was equal to 216 mm (8.5 in), indicating
high workability of the concrete. A value larger than 200 mm (8 in) was required to
ensure adequate consolidation, given the column small thickness.

Fig. 2.39 Concrete slump test.

35

2.3.2 Grout
2.3.2.1 Plastic mortar
The mortar layer between column and footing for both test units was realized with
BASF Embeco 885 cementitious grout. This material is a prepackaged hydraulic
cement-based, metallic-aggregate, high strength, non-shrink grout, with an extended
working time. It is characterized by a well-graded blend of metallic and quartz
aggregate, which gives it high strength and good impact resistance, and therefore
makes it ideal for use under cyclic loading. This grout meets the requirements of
ASTM C 1107. For the specific application it was mixed with a low percentage of
water (5 volumes of grout for 1 volume of water) to obtain a plastic consistency.
For test unit 1B the mortar was reinforced with Durafiber polypropylene fibers,
developed to conform to the requirements of ASTM C 1116-00. This inhibited the
growth of cracks once formed, thus maintaining the integrity of the mortar and
retarding crushing under large compressive strains.
The compressive strengths measured on standard cylinders are reported in tables
2.2 and 2.3. Each value presented is the average from three specimens. Standard
cylinders have a diameter of 51 mm (2 in) and a height of 102 mm (4 in). The
specified strengths for the grout with plastic consistency at 7 and 28 days after
casting were 62 MPa (9 ksi) and 76 MPa (11 ksi), respectively.

material age

f' c

[days]
21

[MPa]
45.8
50.4
46.4

23 (DOT, Unit1A)
29

[ksi]
6.6
7.3
6.7

Tab.2.2 Mortar strength for test unit 1A at various ages.

material age

f' c

[days]
28

[MPa]
53.4
52.9

35 (DOT, Unit1B)

[ksi]
7.8
7.7

Tab.2.3 Mortar strength for test unit 1B at various ages.

36

2.3.2.2 Fluid grout


BASF Embeco 885 was also employed to grout the external dissipators pipes, the
ducts of the post-tensioning bars, the external dissipators anchorages inside the
footing, and the ducts for the internal dissipators. In this case, however, it was mixed
with a higher percentage of water (4.2 liters of water for a 25-kg bag) to obtain a high
fluidity, meaning ease of placement and self-consolidation.
The compressive strengths measured on standard cylinders are reported in tables
2.4 to 2.6. Each value presented is the average from three specimens. Standard
cylinders have a diameter of 51 mm (2 in) and a height of 102 mm (4 in). The
specified strengths for the grout with fluid consistency at 7 and 28 days after casting
were 48 MPa (7 ksi) and 62 MPa (9 ksi), respectively.

material age

f' c

[days]

[MPa]
47.1

18 (DOT, Unit1A)

[ksi]
6.8

Tab.2.4 Strength of the grout used to connect the external dissipators anchors in
the footing of test Unit 1A.

material age

f' c

[days]

[MPa]
52.7

41 (DOT, Unit1B)

[ksi]
7.6

Tab.2.5 Strength of the grout used to connect the internal dissipator dowels to the
footing of test unit 1B.

material age

f' c

[days]

[MPa]
59.2

27 (DOT, Unit1B)

[ksi]
8.6

Tab.2.6 Strength of the grout used to conenct the internal dissipator dowels to the
column of test unit 1B.

37

2.3.3 Steel
Hot rolled, ASTM A576 Grade 1018 carbon steel bars were used for the external
dissipators. A 25.4-mm (1-in) diameter bar was tested in monotonic tension to
characterize the steel (Fig. 2.40). The values of the yield stress and strain, elastic
modulus, and ultimate stress and strain are reported in Table 2.7. A detailed stressstrain curve (Fig. 2.41) was obtained using a clip extensometer.
The internal dissipators were made of 316LN, Grade 75 stainless steel. A tensile
test on a 12.7-mm (0.5-in) diameter bar was performed to characterize the steel. The
yield stress and strain, elastic modulus, and ultimate stress and strain are reported in
Table 2.7, while a detailed stress-strain curve is shown in Figure 2.41.

Fig. 2.40 Steel bar testing setup.

38

material
A576
316LN

fy
[MPa]
331
834

fu
[ksi]
48
121

[MPa]
490
889

Es
[ksi]
71
129

[MPa]
220632
220632

[ksi]
32000
32000

y
[%]
0.15
0.38

u
[%]
33.90
25.70

Tab.2.7 Steel properties of external and internal energy dissipators.

Fig. 2.41 Experimental stress-strain relationship for the external and internal
dissipators steel.

39

2.3.4 Bearing pads


SA-47 rubber pads, produced by Fabreeka International, were used to assemble
the bearings mounted in series with the post-tensioning bars in unit 1A. These pads
are made from masticated rubber using a blend of recycled rubber compounds and
synthetic fiber reinforcement. The random-oriented-fibers structure of the material
provides enhanced compressive strength, stiffness, and tensile strength when
compared to unreinforced or virgin rubber pad materials.
The design of the bearings, i.e. number and thickness of the pads to be stacked in
each bearing, was initially based on the stiffness provided by producers
specifications; then it was refined on the basis of cyclic compressive tests performed
on two rubber pads (Fig. 2.42). The resulting elastic modulus under cyclic loading
was 524 MPa (76 ksi). During testing the material underwent significant creep
deformations, even under cyclic loading: its behavior therefore depends on the load
rate.

Fig. 2.42 SA-47 rubber pad during testing.

40

Fyfe discs were used to assemble the bearings mounted in series with the
post-tensioning bars in unit 1B. They are made of adiprene urethane rubber, a
thermosetting material characterized by unusual toughness. It combines resilience
and high load bearing capacity with resistance to impact, abrasion and compression
set and degradation by oxygen, ozone and oil. In addition to the properties
distinguishing it from conventional elastomers, Adiprene also differs in its physical
form: it is a liquid polymer which is mixed with a curing agent and can be fabricated
by casting.
The design of the bearings, i.e. number and thickness of Fyfe discs to be stacked in
each bearing, was initially based on the stiffness provided by producers
specifications; then it was refined on the basis of a cyclic compressive test performed
on one urethane disc (Fig. 2.43). The resulting elastic modulus under cyclic loading
was 331 MPa (48 ksi). Also in this case creep deformations and load-rate dependent
behavior were evident.

Fig. 2.43 Adiprene Fyfe disc during testing.

41

2.4 Instrumentation
The test specimen was instrumented to measure deformations, displacements,
rotations, and forces during testing. Strain gauges, potentiometers, inclinometers,
and load cells were used at this scope, respectively.

2.4.1 Strain gauges


The instrumentation included strain gauges mounted on the outer steel shell of the
column (Figs. 2.44 and 2.45). 5-mm horizontal strain gauges, placed on the north
and south faces of the specimen, were used to monitor the tensile stresses induced
on the shell by the lateral expansion of compressed concrete, and thus to capture the
confinement effects. 5-mm vertical strain gauges were placed on the north face of the
column to detect compressive stresses on the shell at the base level due to eventual
contact with the mortar (theoretically precluded, being the external diameter of the
mortar bed smaller than the diameter of the steel shell). Finally, 5-mm strain gauges,
arranged in a delta-rosette configuration, were employed to determine shear
deformations along the east and west sides of the specimen.
In Unit1B additional 5-mm vertical gauges were placed on the nort-east and southwest faces of the outer shell in front of the internal dissipators, in order to monitor the
stress transfer from the dowel bar to the steel shell.
Strain gauges were also used to instrument two diametrically opposite posttensioning bars in both units 1A and 1B (Fig. 2.46). Two sensors were applied to
each bar, in order to monitor axial extension and bending of the bar.
Two diametrically opposite external dissipators in unit 1A were instrumented with
two strain gauges each (Fig. 2.47). These sensors, applied to the virgin portion of the
bar which was expected to remain elastic, were used to obtain the dissipator forces
through elasticity relationships.
Strain gauges were also applied to two diametrically opposite internal dissipators in
unit 1B. Four sensor were mounted on each bar, as shown in Figure 2.48, to
measure axial and buckling deformations of the dowels.
More details about strain gauges locations can be found in Appendix B.

42

Fig. 2.44 Column outer-shell strain gauges for unit 1A.

43

Fig. 2.45 Column outer-shell strain gauges for unit 1B.

44

Fig. 2.46 PT-bar strain gauges for units 1A and 1B.

Fig. 2.47 External dissipators instrumentation for unit 1A.

45

Fig. 2.48 Internal dissipators strain gauges for unit 1B.

2.4.2 Potentiometers and inclinometers


A cable-extension position transducer, referred to as horizontal string potentiometer,
was connected to the load stub at the lateral loading point, in order to record the
lateral displacement of the column and control the actuator (Fig. 2.49).
Four vertical potentiometers were installed on the north face and four on the south
face of the column (Figs. 2.50, 2.51, and 2.52). These spring-loaded potentiometers
were mounted on steel rods sticking out from the column shell, in order to monitor the
average rotation between the rods and evaluate the column curvature.
Two horizontal spring-loaded potentiometers were added at the column base of unit
1B, to monitor eventual shear sliding.
A spring-loaded potentiometer was mounted on two diametrically opposite external
dissipators of unit 1A (the same instrumented with strain gauges, Fig. 2.47), in order
to record their axial deformation and capture their hysteretic response.
An inclinometer was mounted on the foundation and one on top of the load stub to
record the rotation of these elements (Figs. 2.50 and 2.51).
The layout of external instrumentation is shown in detail in Appendix B.

46

Fig. 2.49 Horizontal string potentiometer installation on the load stub of unit 1A.

Fig. 2.50 Potentiometers and inclinometers for unit 1A.

47

Fig. 2.51 Potentiometers and inclinometers for unit 1B.

Fig. 2.52 Potentiometers on the column south face of unit 1B.

48

2.4.3 Load cells


Load cells were used to monitor the force on two tie-down rods, tensioned by
vertical jacks, intended to apply a gravity-equivalent load to the specimen. They were
mounted between the load stub and the jacks, as shown in Figure 2.53.

2.4.4 Other instrumentation


A data acquisition system was used to interpret and record the signals provided by
each instrumentation channel and convert them into digital information. In addition to
active measurement provided by the instrumentation described above, three video
cameras were mounted on site: one was zooming on the column-footing joint from
north; one was recording the full column from the east; the remaining one was
installed on the contrast wall and was recording the full unit. Furthermore the
specimen response was documented through digital photos and notes.

49

2.5 Test protocol


The preliminary stage of loading consisted of applying a vertical load to the
specimen, simulating the gravity forces during a seismic event. The vertical load was
applied by two vertical jacks (Figs.2.53 and 2.54), positioned on the load stub and
connected to the strong floor by one 31.8-mm (1-1/4 in) diameter tie-down rod each.
Keeping the vertical force constant, the test unit was subjected to quasi-static
reversed cyclic loading by a 734-kN (165-kips) MTS horizontal actuator contrasting
on the strong wall (Figs. 2.53 and 2.55).

Fig. 2.53 Test layout.

50

Fig. 2.54 Vertical jack (yellow) and load cell (red) for the application of gravity
load.

Fig. 2.55 Actuator for the application of lateral forces.

51

The first part of lateral loading was run in force control. Each load increment
consisted of three cycles of push and pull excursions. Two load increments were
applied as follows:

3 cycles up to 111 kN (25 kips);

3 cycles up to 231 kN (52 kips).

The first lateral load value (111 kN or 25 kips) was intended to induce
decompression at the base section, thus incipient gap opening. The second
increment (231 kN or 52 kips) corresponded to 75% of the base nominal moment
capacity, according to a preliminary prediction on unit 1A. The force-controlled part of
the loading protocol is graphically shown in Figure 2.58.

Fig. 2.58 Force-controlled cycles.

52

Upon completion of the force-controlled loading cycles, the test proceeded in


displacement control. The following drift ratios, defined as the ratio between the
lateral displacement of the loading point and the height of this point above the
footing, were targeted:

3 cycles up to 0.5% drift ratio

3 cycles up to 0.75% drift ratio

2 cycles up to 1% followed by 1 cycle up to 0.75% drift ratio

2 cycles up to 1.5% followed by 1 cycle up to 1% drift ratio

2 cycles up to 2% followed by 1 cycle up to 1.5% drift ratio

2 cycles up to 3% followed by 1 cycle up to 2% drift ratio

2 cycles up to 5% followed by 1 cycle up to 3% drift ratio

2 cycles up to 7.5% followed by 1 cycle up to 5% drift ratio

2 cycles up to 10% followed by 1 cycle up to 7.5% drift ratio

For unit 1A the test ended with only one cycle at 10% drift ratio since three out of
six dissipators had already failed and incipient failure of the system was almost
reached, whereas for unit 1B the full displacement history was run. The displacement
control loading protocol is graphically shown in Figure 2.59.

Fig. 2.59 Displacement-controlled cycles.

53

Chapter 3
Experimental Results
Data collected during testing were post-processed and reviewed to provide
additional insight into the response of the two units. Cyclic lateral loading was applied
in the north-south direction; northward displacements and forces are taken as
positive.

3.1 Test unit 1A


Testing of unit 1A was performed on October 21st, 2011. The test assemblage
together with a close-up view of the external buckling-restrained energy dissipators,
connecting the column to the footing, is shown in Figure 3.1.
The full hysteretic response of the unit is plotted in Figure 3.2, while Figure 3.3
zooms on the cycles up to 3% drift ratio. On the x-axis the lateral displacement is
divided by the height of the column thus defining the drift ratio; on the y-axis the
applied lateral load is divided by the weight (i.e. the applied gravity load) thus
defining the base shear coefficient.
The stress-strain hysteretic responses of the external dissipators are shown in
Figures 3.4 and 3.5 In this case data collection was interrupted due to flexural
distortion of the dissipators, which caused the tips of the spring-loaded
potentiometers to run off their correct position. The different behavior in tension and
compression of the dissipators is due to the additional compressive strength provided
by the grout in the buckling-restrained portion of the bars. Fictitious stresses are
plotted, since the dissipator force is divided by the area of the bar reduced section;
these are not real stresses, because the area of grout is not properly accounted for.
Figure 3.6 shows the strain histories for the two instrumented post-tensioning bars:
as it can be noticed, the strain starts from the value corresponding to the initial posttensioning. Data are interrupted due to damage or saturation of the strain gauges.

54

Fig. 3.1 Unit1A: test assemblage (left), and close-up view of the external bucklingrestrained energy dissipators, connecting the column to the footing (right).

Fig. 3.2 Unit 1A: column full hysteretic response.

55

Fig. 3.3 Unit 1A: column hysteretic response up to 3% drift-ratio cycles.

Fig. 3.4 Unit 1A: north-west dissipator stress-strain response.

56

Fig. 3.5 Unit 1A: south-east dissipator stress-strain response.

Fig. 3.6 Unit 1A: post-tensioning bars strain histories.

57

Cracks started forming at the column-mortar bed interface during the cycles at
231 kN (52 kips); due to this a first loss of stiffness was observed on the diagram of
Figures 3.2 and 3.3. During the 0.5% drift-ratio cycles the cracks opened and
closed with the cyclic load and expanded laterally. Cracks extended all around the
interface perimeter during 0.75% drift-ratio cycles (Fig. 3.7).
The gap at the column-mortar bed interface was visibly opened during 1% driftratio cycles; upon each reversal it extended until half the column depth.
The mortar bed started flaking during 1.5% drift-ratio cycles, and showed
extensive flaking and permanent compressive deformation on the north and south
sides (extreme fibers) after 3% drift-ratio cycles, as shown in Figure 3.8. This could
be one of the reasons for the sudden loss of strength and stiffness at about 2.5%
drift ratio during the first positive and negative cycles to 3% drift ratio (Figs. 3.2 and
3.3).
Mortar bed started crushing extensively during 5% drift-ratio cycles, with
significant loss of stiffness.

Fig. 3.7 Unit 1A: cracking at the column-mortar bed interface during 0.75% driftratio cycles.

58

Fig. 3.8 Unit 1A: mortar bed during 3% drift-ratio cycles.


External dissipators subjected to tension visibly extended outside the grouted pipe
during 1.5% drift-ratio cycles and started bending between the buckling-restrained
central portion and the end connections during 3% drift-ratio cycles (Figs. 3.9 and
3.10). This distortion was due to the rotation imposed by the rocking kinematic on the
dissipators. It could be another reason for the loss of strength and stiffness at about
2.5% drift ratio during the first positive and negative cycles to 3% drift ratio (Figs.
3.2 and 3.3).

Fig. 3.9 Unit 1A: dissipator extending outside the grouted pipe during 3% driftratio cycles.

59

Fig. 3.10 Unit 1A: dissipator distortion during 5% drift-ratio cycles.

The north-west dissipator fractured during the first negative cycle to -7.5% drift ratio,
nearly at peak displacement; the fracture was exposed during subsequent cycles,
and is visible in Figure 3.11. This corresponded to a jump on the graph of Figure 3.2.
A second dissipator fractured on the south side during the second positive cycle to
+7.5% drift ratio, nearly at peak displacement, with another jump visible in Figure 3.2.
The loops remained however stable. A third dissipator fractured on the south side
during the first positive cycle to +10% drift ratio, when +7.5% drift ratio was reached,
with the same effect on the graph of Figure 3.2.

60

Fig. 3.11 Unit 1A: fractured north-west dissipator during 10% drift-ratio cycles.

Figures 3.12 and 3.13 show the condition of the specimen at the end of testing.
Distorted and fractured dissipators are visible on the north (left) and south (right)
sides of the column in Figure 3.12. The east and west dissipators, closer to the
neutral axis, did not present this type of behavior. Crushing of the mortar bed is
evident in Figure 3.13.

Fig. 3.12 Unit 1A: specimen at the end of the test.

61

Fig. 3.13 Unit 1A: mortar bed crushed at the end of the test.
As an additional detail, it was observed that the three dissipators that fractured
during the test experienced a flexural distortion towards the exterior of the column;
instead the north-east dissipator, the only one that didnt fracture among the four
devices subjected to major solicitations, showed a lateral inflection (Fig. 3.14).
Moreover, when the column was lifted from the footing it was possible to notice a
residual deformation on the concrete, causing a shortening of about 13 mm (0.5 in)
with respect to the steel shells on both the north and south sides. The high
longitudinal compressive stresses experienced by the concrete caused a lateral
expansion that permanently deformed the steel shells (Fig. 3.15).

Fig. 3.14 Unit 1A: distortion of the dissipators on the north side of the column.

62

Fig. 3.15 Unit 1A: permanent deformations on concrete and steel shells at the
base of the column (south side).

The overall specimen performance was satisfactory. Self-centering behavior of the


specimen was lost after reaching 3% drift ratio (Fig. 3.2).
The reference yield displacement was estimated to correspond to 0.5% drift ratio
(Fig. 3.3). In correspondence to incipient flaking of the mortar bed, which happened
at a drift ratio of 1.5%, a displacement ductility of about 3 was developed. A
displacement ductility larger than 6 was obtained when bed mortar started crushing
(drift ratio larger than 3%), and a ductility of nearly 15 was reached when the first
dissipator fractured (nearly 7.5% drift ratio).

63

3.2 Test unit 1B


Testing of unit 1B was performed on December 6th, 2011. The test assemblage
together with a close-up view of the internal stainless steel energy dissipators is
shown in Fig. 3.16.
The full hysteretic response of the unit is plotted in Figure 3.17, while Figure 3.18
zooms on the cycles up to 3% drift ratio. As for unit 1A, the drift ratio and the base

shear coefficient are plotted.


The strain histories of the two instrumented internal dissipators are shown in Figure
3.19. Data recording stopped when the strain gauges applied to the bar were
damaged or saturated.
Fig. 3.20 shows the strain histories for the two instrumented post-tensioning bars:
as it can be noticed, the strain starts from the value corresponding to the initial posttensioning. Data are interrupted due to damage or saturation of the strain gauges.

Fig. 3.16 Unit 1B: test assemblage (left), and close-up view showing the internal
energy dissipators (stainless steel dowel bars), the PVC-sleeved PT bars, and the
fresh mortar bed, during placement of the column on the footing.

64

Fig. 3.17 Unit 1B: column full hysteretic response.

Fig. 3.18 Unit 1B: column hysteretic response up to 3% drift-ratio cycles.

65

Fig. 3.19 Unit 1B: dissipators strain histories.

Fig. 3.20 Unit 1B: PT bars strain histories.

66

Cracks started forming at the column-mortar bed interface on the north and south
sides, during cycles at 231 kN (52 kips); due to this a first loss of stiffness was
observed on the diagram of Figures 3.17 and 3.18. The crack extended all around
the interface perimeter during 0.75% drift-ratio cycles (Fig. 3.21). However, along
the north-west sector the crack propagated along the mortar bed-footing interface
instead of the column-mortar one.
The gap at the column- mortar bed interface opened visibly during 1% drift-ratio
cycles, following the crack pattern described above; upon each reversal it extended
until half the column depth.
The mortar bed started flaking during 2% drift-ratio cycles and showed extensive
flaking and permanent compressive deformation on the north and south sides
(extreme fibers) after 3% drift-ratio cycles, as shown in Fig. 3.22. This could be the
reason for the sudden loss of strength and stiffness at about 2.5% drift ratio during
the first positive and negative cycles to 3% drift ratio (Figs. 3.17 and 3.18).
Mortar bed crushing progressed during 5% drift-ratio cycles, but not abruptly, and
became extensive under 7.5% drift-ratio cycles; the stiffness was evidently
reduced.

Fig. 3.21 Unit 1B: cracking at the column-mortar bed interface during 0.75%
drift-ratio cycles.

67

Fig. 3.22 Unit 1B: mortar bed during 3% drift-ratio cycles.

The first dissipator fractured on the north side during the second negative cycle to 7.5% drift ratio, nearly at peak displacement; the bang-like noise was clearly heard
by the audience. This corresponded to a jump on the graph of Figure 3.17. A second
dissipator fractured on the south side during the first positive cycle to +10% drift ratio,
when about +7.5% drift ratio was reached, with another jump visible in Figure 3.17. A
third dissipator fractured on the south side during the second positive cycle to +10%
drift ratio, when about +8.5% drift ratio was reached, with the same effect on the
graph of Figure 3.17. A fourth dissipator fractured on the north side during the
second negative cycle at -10% drift ratio, when about -7.5% drift ratio was reached,
producing a fourth jump in Figure 3.17.
Figure 3.23 show the specimen during the last cycles of testing. Crushing of the
mortar bed at the end of the test is evident in Figure 3.24.

68

Fig. 3.23 Unit 1B: column during 10% drift ratio cycles.

Fig. 3.24 Unit 1B: mortar bed crushed at the end of the test.

69

As an additional detail, when the column was lifted from the footing it was possible
to notice a residual deformation on the concrete, causing a shortening of about 13
mm (0.5 in) with respect to the steel shells on both the north and south sides. The
high longitudinal compressive stresses experienced by the concrete caused a lateral
expansion that permanently deformed the steel shells (Fig. 3.25).
Unit 1B offered an improved response compared to unit 1A: the polypropylene
fibers gave to the mortar bed a more ductile behavior, and crushing became
extensive under a larger drift ratio. The recentering capacity was then preserved up
to greater displacements (7.5% drift ratio).
The reference yield displacement was estimated to correspond to 0.5% drift ratio
(Fig. 3.18). Flaking of the bed mortar joint was observed in the cycles to 2% drift
ratio: this corresponds roughly to a displacement ductility of 4. A displacement
ductility larger than 10 was developed when bed mortar was significantly crushing
(drift ratio larger than 5%), and a ductility of nearly 15 was reached when the first
dissipator fractured (nearly 7.5% drift ratio).

Fig. 3.25 Unit 1B: permanent deformations on concrete and steel shells at the
base of the column (north side).

70

Chapter 4
Numerical Modeling of the Tests

A 3D numerical modeling of the tests was performed and validated with the
experimental results. To this purpose the software OpenSees was used. OpenSees,
the Open System for Earthquake Engineering Simulation, is an object-oriented, opensource software framework. It allows users to create both serial and parallel finite
element computer applications for simulating the response of structural and
geotechnical systems subjected to earthquakes and other hazards. OpenSees is
primarily written in C++ and uses several Fortran and C numerical libraries for linear
equation

solving,

and

material

and

element

routines

(http://opensees.berkeley.edu/wiki/index.php/Main_Page). The user interfaces with


applications such as OpenSees.exe, which interpret the input written in an extended
Tcl programming language.
A good physical understanding of the problem is required in order to correctly
implement the model and the associated parameters, and to be confident with the
output. Simple sketches of the models are presented in Figure 4.1.
The elastic cantilever behavior of the column member was modeled with elastic
frame elements, connected to the mortar joint at the base and to the point of
application of the load at the top.
Multiple non-linear truss elements represented the mortar at the interface between
column and footing.
The post-tensioning bars were modeled as non-linear truss elements, with an initial
stress equal to the effectively applied prestress. They were fixed at the base and
connected to the top node of the column by rigid elements.
External energy dissipating devices for test unit 1A were represented by non-linear
frame elements, as well as internal dowel bars for unit 1B. In both cases, energy
disispators lower ends were fixed to the footing, and their upper ends were
connected to a column intermediate node by rigid links.

71

Loading point

PT bars
Column

External
dissipator

Internal
dissipator

Mortar bed

Fig. 4.1 South-east view of the proposed 3D model for test unit 1A (left) and unit
1B (right).

72

The analysis was performed in two stages, First, the gravity load was applied and
held constant. Then a cyclic quasi-static displacement history was assigned to the
load stub centroid, modeled as a node positioned just above the column, at a
distance equal to half the load stub height. Since the deformations within the load
stub member are expected to be negligible, the node created in that position was
linked to the top of the column with a rigid element.
All the rigid elements mentioned in this chapter were realized with elastic elements
with a very high stiffness compared to the elements they were connecting.
The analysis was performed under the hypothesis of small displacements, i.e. linear
geometry in OpenSees language. In fact the vertical load was applied using tie-down
rods, which were leaning together with the column under lateral displacement; as a
consequence, the applied force was always directed along the column axis and
interaction between axial load and lateral displacement was prevented.
The results of the analysis were recorded and used for the validation of the models
which is presented in chapter 5.
Special care was given to correctly modeling the system behavior for drift ratios up
to 5%, since larger values of displacements would be too demanding for a bridge
superstructure. Moreover, modeling the material behavior near collapse requires the
implementation of complicated routines and the knowledge of many parameters that
were not available from experimental tests.
In the first section of this chapter the material models are introduced with some
theoretical background. The second section is about the modeling of each single
component of the specimens. In the third section the parameters defining the
analysis are discussed. A print of the whole Tcl script is attached as an appendix to
this work.

73

4.1 Material models


4.1.1 Concrete 01
Among the concrete models implemented in OpenSees, Concrete 01 is the simplest
one but gives the possibility to model the material non linearity with an accurate
response. It is based on the Kent-Scott-Park concrete material model, with degrading
linear unloading/reloading stiffness according to the work of Karsan and Jirsa;
concrete tensile strength is neglected. The required input parameters are listed in
Figure 4.2, while the material behavior is shown in Figure 4.3.

Fig. 4.2 Command line for the definition of Uniaxial Material Concrete01.

Fig. 4.3 Typical backbone stress-strain relation for Concrete 01.

74

The first branch of the backbone curve is a second degree parabola, up to the point
where the maximum stress, fpc, is attained with a corresponding strain c0. The initial
tangent slope is given by 2*fpc /c0 . The descending branch is assumed to be linear.
The last branch, starting from the strain u , assumes a constant value of the stress
equal to the residual strength fpcu : this assumption is based on the expectation that
member failure will occur before the concrete strain becomes unrealistically large.
The stress-strain relationship is expressed by the following equations:
for c c0
=

) ]

for c > c0
=

[1 (

)]

where:
0.5

The strain c50u corresponds to a stress equal to 50% of the maximum concrete
strength, and c50h is the additional strain observed for confined concrete in
correspondence to the same stress. In OpenSees c50h is taken equal to zero, since
the confinement effect is accounted for when defining the peak point (fpc , c0) and the
other parameters of the material routine.
The degrading unloading/reloading stiffness for Concrete 01 is based on the work of
Karsan and Jirsa. They defined these branches as second degree parabolas passing
by three points, shown in Fig. 4.4. However, in the OpenSees model points A and D
are coincident and the unloading/reloading behavior is not defined by second degree
parabolas, but by a linear branch connecting point A with point B. The equation for
the strain at point B has been provided by Karsan and Jirsa as:
= 0.145

75

+ 0.13

Fig. 4.4 Unloading and reloading curve proposed by Karsan and Jirsa.

The effect of confinement has been taken into account according to the model
proposed by Mander, et al. (1988). The stress-strain model is illustrated in Figure 4.5
and is based on an equation by Popovics.

Fig. 4.5 Stress-strain model for confined and unconfined concrete (Mander, et al.,
1988).

76

The confinement compressive strength is given by:

1.254 + 2.254 1 +

7.94

where fc0 is the unconfined concrete compressive strength and fl is the effective
lateral confining stress on the concrete, equal to:
=

1
2

with s indicating the ratio of the volume of transverse confining steel to the volume
of confined concrete core, fyh being the yield stress of the confining steel, and ke
defining the efficiency of confinement.
The strain corresponding to fcc is obtained as:
=

1+5

where the unconfined peak strain c0 is given by an empirical relationship with fc0 :
= 0.0017 +

60000

The ultimate concrete compressive strain, cu, has been empirically related to the
volumetric confining ratio:
= 0.004 + 1.5
The ultimate stress in concrete can be obtained as:
=


1+

where:
=

77

In the above equations, Ec is the initial elastic modulus of concrete and Esec the
secant modulus at peak, equal to:
=
When modeling a confined concrete with Concrete 01 material, the following
correspondence can be established between OpenSees parameters and Manders
parameters: at peak fpc is taken equal to fcc and c0 equal to cc ; at ultimate fpcu is
taken equal to fcu and u equal to cu .

4.1.2 Steel 02
OpenSees material model Steel 02 is used to construct a uniaxial GiuffrMenegotto-Pinto steel material object with isotropic strain hardening. The GiuffrMenegotto-Pinto stress-strain relationship, well described in the report by Filippou, et
al. (1983), offers numerical efficiency and good agreement with experimental results
from cyclic tests on reinforcing steel bars.
The required input parameters are listed in Figure 4.6, while the hysteretic behavior
is represented in Figure 4.7.

Fig. 4.6 Command line for the definition of Uniaxial Material Steel 02.

78

Fig. 4.7 Stress-strain relationship for Steel 02.

The model is described by the following equation:

(1 )
(1 )

where:

and:

It represents a smooth curved transition from an asymptotic straight line with slope
E0 to another asymptotic straight line with slope E1; b is the ratio between E1 and E0,
referred to as the bilinear factor. and are the current stress and strain; * and *
are normalized stress and strain; y and y are the coordinates in the stress-strain
plane of the intersection of the two asymptotes (point A in figure 4.7); r and r,
initially set to zero, are the stress and strain at the point where the last strain reversal
79

took place, with stress of equal sign (point B in figure 4.7); R is a parameter
describing the curvature of the transition curve between the asymptotes. The
parameters y, y, r, r and R are updated at each strain reversal.
The parameter R is given by the following relationship:
=

where R0 is the value of R during first loading; is the ratio of the maximum plastic
strain over the initial yield strain and is updated following a strain reversal; a1 and a2
are experimentally determined parameters to be defined together with R0.
Filippou et al. also proposed a stress shift sh in the linear yield asymptote, to
account for the isotropic hardening, depending on the maximum plastic strain:
=

where max is the absolute maximum strain at the instant of strain reversal; y0 and
y0 are the initial yield stress and strain; a3 and a4 are experimentally determined
parameters.

80

4.2 Model components


4.2.1 Column
The column was modeled with two elastic elements in series: one spanning from
the top of the mortar bed to the connection with the dissipators, and another one
running from this point up to the column top at the connection with the load stub. One
reason of this choice is the need of an intermediate point to connect the dissipators
to the column axis. Moreover, in the lower part the column outer shell is not effective
in carrying any tensile stresses, since they are carried by the energy dissipating
devices.
Therefore area, second moment of area, and torsional moment of inertia of the
cross section were calculated accounting only for the concrete in the lower element,
while the transformed section has been considered for the upper segment where the
outer shell is contributing.
Based on the particular technology adopted the column is believed to remain in the
elastic field under the applied load and to rock about the foundation at the mortar bed
level. Therefore the element type used to model it is the Elastic Beam Column
Element. For a three-dimensional problem the required input parameters are listed in
Figure 4.8.

Fig. 4.8 Command line for the definition of Elastic Beam Column Element.

81

The compressive strength and, accordingly, the elastic modulus of the concrete
assigned to the column were based on material tests conducted the day of the
column test. For unit 1A:
= 70
= 57 1000

(10.2

= 39691

)
(5756.72

For test Unit1B:


= 72
= 57 1000

(10.4

= 40078

)
(5812.88

In the equation for the concrete elastic modulus above, Ec and fc are expressed in
ksi.
Material continuity was assured at the intermediate node. The restraint condition
assigned to the base of the column was not allowing horizontal displacement, as
shear sliding proved to be negligible in the experiments. The column could therefore
only rotate and displace vertically with respect to the footing (rocking).

4.2.2 Energy dissipating devices


The energy dissipating devices were modeled with Displacement-Based BeamColumn Elements. These objects consider the spread of plasticity along the element.
The required inputs are listed in Figure 4.9.

82

Fig. 4.9 Command line for the definition of Displacement-Based Beam Column
element.
Referring to unit 1A each dissipator was modeled using three elements to account
for the presence of a reduced-section segment along the bar, where the dissipation
was concentrated. Therefore different geometrical properties were assigned to the
external parts of the dissipator and to the central milled one.
Since the behavior of the dissipator was known, the element non-linear properties
were assigned in terms of internal forces rather than using fiber sections, which are
computationally burdensome. Thus Section Force-Deformation objects were
constructed and the axial, flexural and torsional behaviors of the cross sections were
assigned to the elements. To this purpose Uniaxial Material Steel 02 was used to
define the axial and flexural behavior of the dissipator, while it was modeled elastic
with respect to torsion, considering that torsional effects were negligible.
The material parameters were selected to match the experimental hysteretic
behavior of the device and considering the different behavior shown by the
dissipators in tension and compression, due to the interaction with the grout within
the buckling-restrained length. In fact while in tension the load was carried by the
steel bar alone, in compression the grout provided additional strength to the member.
The values adopted are the following:
= 469

(68

= 220632
=

(32000
= 0.00213

83

= 490

(71

= 0.06
0 = 18;

1 = 0.925;

2 = 0.15

1 = 0.07; 2 = 3; 3 = 0; 4 = 1
Three integration points were defined along each element, two at the ends and one
in the mid-point, considering that the element is mainly subject to axial force but
providing the minimum number of integration points to avoid numerical issues under
bending. The dissipators were fixed at the base and connected to the column
intermediate node at their top by rigid elements.
For unit 1B energy dissipating devices in the form of stainless-steel bars, partially
debonded across the column-footing interface, were adopted. These were modeled
by Displacement-Based Beam-Column Elements like the ones presented above,
extending for a length equal to the debonded length of the bars. Since no variations
in section were present along these bars, only one element was necessary to model
each dissipator.
In this case the Steel 02 material model was calibrated on the basis of a cyclic test
conducted on a stainless-steel rebar at UCSD. The test regarded a #4 (12.7-mm
diameter) bar having a length-to-diameter aspect ratio of 3. The parameters of the
steel material model were therefore modified according to the actual behavior of the
material as follows:
= 827

(120

= 199948
=

(29000

= 0.00414

= 889

(129

= 0.15
0 = 18;

1 = 0.925;

2 = 0.15

1 = 0; 2 = 1; 3 = 0; 4 = 1

84

A stress-strain diagram comparing the behavior of the modeled stainless-steel rebar


and the results obtained from the material test is shown in Figure 4.10. As it can be
noticed, more care was given to accuracy in the small-strain range.
Also in this case three integration points were defined along the element and the
boundary constraints were the same as in unit 1A: the dissipators were fixed at the
base and connected to the column intermediate point at their top by rigid elements.

Fig. 4.10 Dissipator stress-strain response

85

4.2.3 Mortar bed


The mortar bed was modeled with a group of 108 springs, distributed along 36
radiuses and along 3 circumferences concentric with the column. The springs were
represented by 12.7-mm (0.5-in) long Truss Elements, subject only to axial load. The
elements were fixed at the base and connected to the column base node by rigid
elements. For Truss Elements, the software requires the inputs listed in Figure 4.11.
Uniaxial Material Concrete 01 was used to define the stress-strain relationship of
the mortar. The values of the input parameters for the material model were obtained
from Manders formulation using a confinement efficiency coefficient (ke) equal to 0.1.
This minor confinement can be justified by friction with the column and footing
surfaces, specifically roughened.
Therefore for test unit 1A:
= 56

(8.1

= 0.004
= 7

(1

= 0.1511

Fig. 4.11 Command line for the definition of Truss Element.

86

For test unit 1B:


= 59

(8.5

= 0.004
= 7

(1

= 0.1511
In order to account for the spread of the non-linear deformation along the concrete
of the column, here modeled as linear elastic, fictitious equivalent strains were
defined on the basis of the experimental ones:

where lreal stands for the effective extension of the deformation which in past studies
has been observed to be almost equal to the depth of the neutral axis (here assumed
to be 25% of the column outer diameter), and lmort is the length of the truss element.

4.2.4 Post-tensioning bars


Each post-tensioning bar was modeled with two truss elements in series, connected
to each other at the footing surface, with the aim of modeling the coupling of the bars.
The bottom element was fixed at the base to represent the anchorage inside the
footing; the top element was connected to the point of application of loads by a rigid
element. At the intermediate node, the elements were only allowed to move vertically,
along their axes: horizontal motion was precluded by the footing concrete, while
twisting was fixed for stability reasons (truss elements cannot resist torsion).
The material model used was Steel 02 with the following values:
= 827

(120

= 204774

87

(29700

= 0.00404

= 1079

(156.51

= 0.08
0 = 18;

1 = 0.925;

2 = 0.15

1 = 0; 2 = 1; 3 = 0; 4 = 1
The presence of the rubber bearings in unit 1A and the Fyfe bearings in unit 1B was
taken into account by defining an equivalent stiffness of the elements, considering
the stiffness of the bearings

in series:
=

1
1

+
,

Both the elastic and post-elastic moduli were modified accordingly. The tensioning
of the bars prior to the application of the load was introduced in the model by
assigning an initial stress value equal to 207 MPa (30 ksi) for unit 1A and 216 MPa
(31 ksi) for unit 1B to the material.

88

4.3 Analysis parameters


In OpenSees, an analysis is an object which is composed by the aggregation of
component objects. The component objects which define the type of analysis that is
performed on the model. The component classes consist of the following
(http://opensees.berkeley.edu/wiki/index.php/OpenSees_User):
1. Constraint Handler: determines how the constraint equations are enforced in
the analysis, how boundary conditions/imposed displacements are handled;
2. DOF Numberer: determines the mapping between equation numbers and
degrees of freedom;
3. Integrator: determines the type of loading (force-controlled or displacementcontrolled) and the increment size;
4. Solution Algorithm: determines the sequence of steps taken to solve the nonlinear equation at the current time step;
5. System Of Equation/Solver: specifies how to store and solve the system of
equations during the analysis within the solution algorithm;
6. Convergence Test: determines the criterion and the tolerance to establish when
convergence has been achieved at the current step;
7. Analysis: determines if a static or dynamic analysis has to be performed.
According to the experimental recordings, vertical loads of 293 kN (66 kips) for unit
1A and 268 kN (60 kips) for unit 1B were applied to the model through 10
increments, to simulate the gravity load. The parameters for this stage of analysis
were set as follows.
Constraints Plain: this command is used to construct a Plain constraint handler,
which removes constrained degrees of freedom from the system of equations.
Numberer Plain: this command is used to construct a Plain degree-of-freedom
numbering object. A Plain numberer just takes whatever order the domain gives to
the nodes and numbers them. This ordering is both dependent on node numbering
and model size. For very small problems and for the sparse matrix solvers, which
provide their own numbering scheme, order is not really important, so Plain numberer
is just fine.

89

Integrator LoadControl: this command is used to construct a LoadControl integrator


object with the assigned load-factor increment; it specifies the incremental load factor
to be applied to the loads in the domain.
Algorithm Newton: this command is used to construct a NewtonRaphson algorithm
object which uses the Newton-Raphson algorithm to solve the nonlinear residual
equation; it uses the tangent at the current iteration while iterating to convergence.
System ProfileSPD: this command is used to construct a ProfileSPD linear system
of equation object; as the name implies, this class is used for symmetric positive
definite matrix systems.
Test NormDispIncr: this command is used to construct a convergence test which
specifies a tolerance on the norm of the displacement increments at the current
iteration.
Analysis Static: a static type of analysis is to be performed.
Following this preliminary stage of loading, the gravity load was kept constant and a
cyclic lateral displacement history was assigned to the model, according to the
experimental loading protocol. For simplicity also the force-controlled cycles were
simulated by assigning the correspondent displacements. The parameters used in
the analysis are listed below.
Constraints Plain: as before.
Numberer RCM: this command is used to renumber the DOFs to minimize the
matrix band-width, using the Reverse Cuthill-McKee algorithm.
Integrator

DisplacementControl:

this

command

is

used

to

construct

DisplacementControl integrator object, which specifies the incremental displacement


at a specified DOF in the domain.
Algorithm Newton: as before.
System BandGeneral: this command is used to construct a BandGeneral linear
system of equation object, which is a direct solver for banded non-symmetric
matrices.
Test EnergyIncr: this command is used to construct a convergence test which
specifies a tolerance on the inner product of the unbalanced load and displacement
increments at the current iteration.
Analysis Static: as before.

90

Chapter 5
Comparison between Experimental
and Numerical Results

The validation of the 3D models for both test units, implemented in OpenSees
environment as described in Chapter 4, was conducted via a comparison with the
quasi-static testing results.
Special care was given to correctly modeling the system behavior for drift ratios up
to 5%, since larger values of displacements would be too demanding for a bridge
superstructure. Moreover, modeling the material behavior near collapse requires the
implementation of complicated routines and the knowledge of many parameters that
were not available from experimental tests. For this reason the comparisons are
preented up to drift ratios of 5%.

5.1 Test unit 1A


The ability of the model to capture the overall lateral forcedisplacement
relationship is shown in Figure 5.1. The comparison of experimental and numerical
results up to 1%, 3% and 5% drift ratios shows an accurate representation of the selfcentering capacity of the system. The comparison also reveals that the numerical
model slightly overestimates the stiffness of the system, predicting higher lateral
forces in particular after 2% drift ratio cycles.

91

Fig. 5.1 Unit 1A: column hysteretic response up to 1%, 3%, and 5% drift
ratios.
92

The comparison between experimental and numerical results for the external
energy dissipating devices is reported in Figures 5.2 and 5.3. The hysteretic
response in terms of axial strain-stress relationship up to 1%, 3%, and 5% drift ratios
shows a good agreement of the numerical results with the experimental data. Also
the different behavior in tension and compression, evident from experimental data
and due to the additional compressive strength provided by the grout in the bucklingrestrained segment, is well captured by the model. A slight overestimation of the
resisting contribution of the dissipators, both in tension and compression, is visible for
low drift-ratio cycles.
Figures 5.4 and 5.5 show a comparison between the strain histories of the northeast and south-west post-tensioning bars up to 5% drift ratio. Good agreement is
found between experimental and numerical results, even though an overestimation of
the strains on the bars is evident at high drift ratios. The loss of tension due to
gradual failure of the mortar at the rocking interface is well captured by the model,
resulting in a good prediction of the overall behavior of the system.
Further validation of the analytical model is given by the comparison of the energy
dissipated by the system up to 1%, 3% and 5% drift-ratio cycles (Fig. 5.6); the
normalized energy on the y-axis is obtained by dividing the dissipated energy by the
product of maximum lateral force and maximum displacement (in absolute value)
attained by the model during the analysis. A very good agreement is shown in these
terms. The points corresponding to first reaching of a lateral force or displacement
target are marked on the graphs.

93

Fig. 5.2 Unit 1A: north-west dissipator stress-strain response for drift ratios up to
1%, 3%, and 5%.

94

Fig. 5.3 Unit 1A: south-east dissipator stress-strain response for drift ratios up to
1%, 3%, and 5%.

95

Fig. 5.4 Unit 1A: north-east post-tensioning bar strain history.

Fig. 5.5 Unit 1A: south-west post-tensioning bar strain history.

96

Fig. 5.6 Unit 1A: energy dissipated by the system for drift ratios up to 1%, 3%,
and 5%.

97

5.2 Test unit 1B


The lateral force-drift ratio response of unit 1B is shown in Figure 5.7. The
comparison of experimental and numerical results up to 1%, 3% and 5% drift ratios
shows a good representation of the self-centering capacity of the system. The
comparison reveals that the numerical model slightly overestimates the stiffness of
the system for low values of drift ratio (smaller than 0.75%); an underestimation of
the stiffness is also evident for values between 1% and 3% of drift ratio.
The comparison between experimental and numerical results for the internal energy
dissipating devices is reported in Figures 5.8 and 5.9. The cyclic response of the
dissipators in terms of strain histories up to 5% drift ratios shows larger strains in the
model prediction; however the comparison is limited up to 2% drift ratio, due to
damage and saturation of the strain gauges mounted on the steel dowels.
Figures 5.10 and 5.11 show a comparison between the strain histories of the northeast and south-west post-tensioning bars up to 5% drift ratio. Good agreement is
found between experimental and numerical results, in particular for values of drift
ratio between 1% and 3%; a slight overestimation of the strains is evident at higher
drift ratios. The loss of tension due to gradual failure of the mortar at the rocking
interface is well captured by the model, resulting in a good prediction of the overall
behavior of the system.
Further validation of the analytical model was given by the comparison of the
energy dissipated by the system up to 1%, 3% and 5% drift ratio cycles (Fig. 5.12);
the normalized energy on the y-axis is obtained by dividing the dissipated energy by
the product of maximum lateral force and maximum displacement (in absolute value)
attained by the model during the analysis. The prediction at low drift ratios appears to
be lower than the actual dissipation, and the agreement is not as good as that
observed for unit 1A. However, at larger drift ratios this discrepancy disappears and
the comparison confirms the accuracy of the model response.

98

Fig. 5.7 Unit 1B: column hysteretic response up to 1%, 3%, and 5% drift
ratios.
99

Fig. 5.8 Unit 1B: north-east dissipator strain history.

Fig. 5.9 Unit 1B: south-west dissipator strain history.

100

Fig. 5.10 Unit 1B: north-east post-tensioning bar strain history

Fig. 5.11 Unit 1B: south-west post-tensioning bar strain history.

101

Fig. 5.12 Unit 1B: energy dissipated by the system for drift ratios up to 1%, 3%,
and 5%.

102

Chapter 6
Conclusions

The shift of societal expectation on the resilience of engineered structures implies a


need for bridge seismic resisting systems that allow immediate occupancy after
moderately strong events and do not require significant repair and functional
downtime. Moreover, the operation of essential emergency services and minimal
disruption to business continuity should be guaranteed following extreme seismic
events (Kam, et al., 2010). Consequently, a very limited level of damage is accepted
in the structural elements which should be maintained within the elastic domain.
In response to the mentioned needs, a particularly efficient and flexible solution is
offered by the dual-shell column technology developed at the University of California,
San Diego. Quasi-static cyclic tests conducted on two, 1:2.4 scale, hybrid-rocking
concrete bridge piers provided the data presented in this work. Experimental results
offered an encouraging confirmation of the enhanced performance of the proposed
hybrid column technology when compared to traditional monolithic solutions. The
main advantages of the proposed solution are: (i) the lack of damage in main
structural elements, (ii) the reduction of residual displacements, ensuring selfcentering even after large inelastic displacement excursion, and (iii) a stable
hysteretic behavior up to high ductility levels.
Adoption of precast structural members, replacement of traditional time-consuming
reinforcing cages with steel pipes, and use of hollow cross-sections resulting in
weight reduction by elimination of unnecessary concrete, are peculiar to improve
constructability and in particular to reduce on-site burdens. In parallel, the
combination of post-tensioned joint connections and added energy dissipators
ensures seismic resilience, in the form of self-centering capacity, facilitation of
structural fuse repair, and minimization of residual structural damage.
The use of internal dissipators in the form of longitudinal dowel bars (unit 1B),
crossing the column-footing interface, proved to be effective in terms of dissipative
behavior and offers the advantage of avoiding aesthetic interference. However, this
layout presents some drawbacks. During plant operations, the presence of steel
103

ducts for future dowel grouting interferes with concrete casting, given the narrow
space left in between the two shells. Moreover, the eventual replacement of
damaged dissipators would require cutting and repairing the outer steel shell.
For this reason, the use of external devices instead of internal dowel bars could be
advantageous; following major earthquakes external dissipators could be easily
inspected and replaced if necessary. The behavior of unit 1A, incorporating external
dissipators, was very good in terms of dissipated energy, and the overall response of
the specimen was characterized by stable loops also at large drifts. Improvements in
the behavior of such devices can be achieved by providing different connections to
the column, in order to avoid bending of the bars between the buckling-restrained
central portion and the end connections, experienced after +/- 3% drift ratio cycles.
Elements of novelty were also introduced in the post-tensioning technology
necessary to confer self-centering capacity to the structural system. The use of bars
instead of strands allows dealing with problems related to eventual PT losses,
corrosion, and yielding of these components. In fact it is possible to re-tension the
bars or de-tension and replace them, guaranteeing an adequate recentering force.
The use of grouted pipes to protect the PT bars from corrosion doesnt represent an
obstacle for their substitution, considering that the bars can be uncoupled at the
foundation level together with the grouted pipes. Placement of bearing pads at the
top anchorage was effective in preventing PT bars from yielding: it reduced tensile
strain demands on the bars due to gap opening at the column base, transforming
them into compressive strains on the bearings.
During past experiments it was observed that the mortar sealing the column-footing
interface crushed due to high compressive strain demands at gap opening, leading to
significant losses of post-tensioning and self-centering. To overcome this
inconvenience a specific high-strength, impact-resisting mortar with metallic
aggregates was employed. However, during testing of unit 1A mortar crushing was
evident after 3% drift-ratio cycles. Better results were achieved with test unit 1B,
where polypropylene fibers were added to the same mortar compound: self centering
capacity was maintained for drift ratios up to 7.5%.
The comparison between experimental and numerical responses, obtained from 3D
models of the specimens analyzed with the software OpenSees, showed very
satisfactory accuracy in terms of both overall system behavior and single
components response. The ability of the model to capture the experimental force-

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displacement relationship was evident and the self-centering behavior was accurately
represented up to 5% drift ratios.. A further validation was obtained through the
comparison of the energy dissipated by both units during the test to the numerical
prediction. Further improvements in the numerical model can be obtained by better
defining the material used for the mortar, which has a great influence on the selfcentering capacity of the model.
One can conclude that, combining superior seismic performance with ease of
construction and speed of erection, the proposed system represents an economically
and environmentally viable alternative to traditional monolithic solutions: the
application of such technology within the bridge industry in the years to come is
therefore desirable. It is also expected that the numerical model herein developed
can be used in future for implementation in broader structural systems and for
dynamic analyses, allowing a deeper understanding of the behavior of the proposed
technology.

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Appendix A
Compressive Cylinder Strengths of
Cementitious Materials
The cementitious materials employed in the construction of the specimens have been
characterized by means of testing conducted by the Powell Structural Engineering
Laboratories, University of California, San Diego. The detailed results obtained in
terms of compressive strength from tests conducted on standard cylinders are here
presented.

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
65.673
9.525
9.506
65.176 65.542 9.453
65.776
9.540

Tab.A.1 Concrete cylinder strengths, 28 days.

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
69.554
10.088
69.327 70.154 10.055 10.175
71.581
10.382

Tab.A.2 Concrete cylinder strengths, 49 days (DOT, unit 1A).

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
74.629
10.824
68.272 71.788 9.902 10.412
72.464
10.510

Tab.A.3 Concrete cylinder strengths, 96 days (DOT, unit 1B).

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strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
47.877
6.944
6.636
45.795 45.754 6.642
43.589
6.322

Tab.A.4 Unit 1A: mortar bed cylinder strengths, 21 days.

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
52.869
7.668
50.421
7.313
50.125
7.270
48.270
7.001

Tab.A.5 Unit 1A: mortar bed cylinder strengths, 23 days (DOT).

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
51.194
7.425
6.730
44.202 46.402 6.411
43.809
6.354

Tab.A.6 Unit 1A: mortar bed cylinder strengths, 29 days.

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
45.561
6.608
6.838
45.885 47.146 6.655
49.994
7.251

Tab.A.7 Unit 1A: dissipator anchorage grout cylinder strengths, 18 days (DOT).

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strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
56.399
8.18
7.75
44.126 53.411
6.40
59.709
8.66

Tab.A.8 Unit 1B: mortar bed cylinder strengths, 28 days.

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
54.331
7.88
52.883
7.67
50.194
7.28
54.124
7.85

Tab.A.9 Unit 1B: mortar bed cylinder strengths, 35 days (DOT).

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
57.199
8.296
7.638
49.732 52.662 7.213
51.056
7.405

Tab.A.10 Unit 1B: dissipator-to-footing grout cylinder strengths, 41 days (DOT).

strength
avg
strength
avg
[Mpa]
[ksi]
54.103
7.847
8.579
53.572 59.150 7.770
69.775
10.120

Tab.A.11 Unit 1B: dissipator-to-column grout cylinder strengths, 27 days (DOT).

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Appendix B
Specimens Drawings
Detailed drawings of the tested specimens are here provided, based on the design
by Gabriele Guerrini, Graduate Student Researcher, Dept. of Structural Engineering,
University of California, San Diego.

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Appendix C
OpenSees Script for the
Numerical Model
The whole script used for the numerical modeling of tested units in OpenSees
environment is here provided.

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References
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Column, Tesi di Laurea Specialistica, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e
dei Materiali, Universit degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, Italia.
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Hysteretic Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Joints", Report EERC 83-19, Earthquake
Engineering Research Center, University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA.
Guerrini, G., Restrepo, J.I. (2011), Advanced Precast Concrete Dual-Shell Steel
Columns, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference of Urban Earthquake
Engineering, Tokyo, Japan.
Hewes, J.T., Priestley, M.J.N. (2001), Seismic Design and Performance of Precast
Concrete Segmental Bridge Columns, Research Report No. SSRP-2001/25,
Department of Structural Engineering, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA,
USA.
Holden, T., Restrepo, J.I., Mander, J.B. (2003), Seismic Performance of Precast
Reinforced and Prestressed Concrete Walls, Journal of Structural Engineering,
129(3), pp. 286-295, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA, USA.
Kam, W.Y., Pampanin, S., Palermo, A., Carr, A.J. (2010), Self-centering structural
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Karsan, I.D., Jirsa, J.O. (1969), Behavior of concrete under compressive loadings,
ASCE Journal of the Structural Division, 95(12), pp. 2543-2563, American Society of
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Mander, J.B., Priestley, M.J.N., Park, R. (1988), Theoretical Stress-Strain Model for
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American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA, USA.
Marriott, D., Pampanin, S., Palermo, A. (2008), Quasi-Static and Pseudo-Dynamic
Testing of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Rocking Bridge Piers with External Replaceable
Dissipaters, Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, John Wiley & Sons.

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Ambientale e dei Materiali, Universit degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, Italia.
Mazzoni, S., McKenna, F., Scott, M.H., Fenves, G.L. et al. (2007), Opensees
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Palermo, A., Pampanin, S. (2008), Enhanced Seismic Performance of Hybrid Bridge
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Engineering, 12(8), pp. 1267-1295, Taylor & Francis, London, UK.
Palermo, A., Pampanin, S., Calvi, G.M. (2005), Concept and Development of Hybrid
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Ringraziamenti
Al termine della stesura di questo lavoro mi riservo una sezione in italiano per
ringraziare le persone che, ognuna a modo suo, hanno contribuito a farmi
raggiungere questo traguardo.
Inizio col ringraziare il prof. Jos Restrepo, che ha supervisionato il lavoro svolto
presso UCSD con intelligenza e professionalit, lasciandomi soprattutto il ricordo di
una persona dalla profonda umanit.
Ringrazio sentitamente Gabriele Guerrini, che mi ha seguito durante tutto il lavoro
svolto in questi mesi, dalla prima riga di codice allultima di tesi, con infinita pazienza
e disponibilit.
Un ringraziamento dovuto va al prof. Marco Savoia, unitamente allUniversit di
Bologna e alla University of California presso San Diego, che hanno reso possibile
questo scambio, accordandomi la possibilit di un periodo di studio presso uno dei
centri pi avanzati al mondo in materia di ingegneria sismica.
Se ricorder questo periodo con affetto sar per soprattutto perch a renderlo
piacevole sono state le persone incontrate nel corso di questi mesi, con cui ho
condiviso questa meravigliosa esperienza.
Un grazie di cuore va al gruppo dei D.O.G. di Bologna e agli amici pi fidati che mi
sono stati vicino in questi anni, tra tanta gente che viene e va, e sulla cui amicizia
posso contare in ogni momento.
Lascio alla fine il mio ringraziamento pi sentito, a Katia e alla mia Famiglia, che mi
hanno dato laffetto, il supporto e la serenit necessari ad affrontare non solo la
preparazione della tesi, ma la vita in senso ampio.
Non smetto di ricordare chi ha contribuito a farmi diventare quello che sono.
Concludo questi ringraziamenti con laugurio che il destino porti a tutte queste
persone la vita che in cuor loro desiderano vivere.

179