Research in Engineering and Aviation

Inelastic Damage Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Bridge Columns Based on Degraded Monotonic Energy

July/August 2004

Author(s): Hindi, R., and Sexsmith, R.G.

Journal: Journal of Bridge Engineering, ASCE, 9(4), pp. 326-332. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)1084-0702(2004)9:4(326)


This paper summarizes the prediction of seismic damage of two existing bridges. The objective is to apply a damage index definition for reinforced concrete bridge columns under cyclic loading to existing bridge columns that might experience real seismic loading in the future, and to evaluate the ability of the damage index in describing the damage progression of the bridge columns during real seismic loading. Two existing bridges were selected from the Greater Vancouver Area in Canada. The first bridge, the Garneau Flyover, was designed in 1985 to ATC-6-1981 and is expected to have sufficient resistance to lateral earthquake loading. The second bridge, the Clydesdale Street Underpass, was designed long before ATC-6-1981 and is expected to show little or no lateral earthquake resistance. The damage index is applied to each of these structures, with columns modeled using the CANNY nonlinear structural analysis program. Shear and bond slip deformations were considered by making a simple modification to the column flexural properties. A series of nonlinear dynamic analyses were performed using records from the 1971 San Fernando, 1978 Miyaki-Oki (Japan), 1989 Loma Prieta, and 1999 Taiwan earthquakes fitted to the Vancouver firm ground spectrum. The calculated damage index provides a simple numerical indicator of the damage during an earthquake, easily computed from the results of a nonlinear dynamic analysis.