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Numerical Modeling of the Shaking Table Tests of a Bridge Column



A blind prediction contest was organized by PEER and NEES to predict the behaviour of a full-scale reinforced concrete bridge column subjected to unidirectional seismic excitation on the NEES-UCSD shaking table. Designed consistent with the modern design guidelines, the column had a 1.2 m-diameter cross section, cantilevered 7.3 m, and supported a 229-Mg concrete block at the top. The column was subjected to six historical ground motions with the peak ground acceleration values ranging from 0.20 to 0.53 g. The objective of this study is to numerically model the behaviour of this specimen under six consecutive ground motions while considering the damage accumulation, and gauge the accuracy of a recently developed nonlinear analysis procedure. This procedure uses distributedplasticity, displacement-based, frame elements with a fiber section discretization. Shear effects are captured through the 2D implementation of the Disturbed Stress Field Model. Suitable for modeling large-scale concrete frames found in practice, the procedure uses default material models and analysis options, and thus does not require the ‘tweaking’ of parameters. This paper provides a brief overview of the analysis procedure, summarizes the experimental program, and presents the numerical modeling details. The comparisons of the experimental and numerical responses are then discussed. Influences of critical modeling aspects, such as the time step length, the use of supplementary viscous damping, and the strain rate effects, are also examined

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