Feasibility Study on Utilizing Self-centering Structural System for Typical Highway Bridges in Iran

Document Type : Research Article


International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Tehran, Iran


Recently, in developed countries, a variety of self-centering structural systems have been developed using precast concrete bends and the Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) method to reduce construction time, increase safety, reduce seismic damage, reduce repair and reconstruction costs, and increase seismic resiliency. In this system, bridge bents are constructed by precast elements tied together with post-tensioned tendons such that under the effect of lateral seismic forces, they are able to rock and self-center back to their original configuration. The use of this system greatly reduces the residual displacements and the seismic damage. Also, due to the use of prefabricated elements, the construction speed of the bridge is significantly increased. This paper compares the seismic performance of one type of self-centering structural system with the conventional structural system for three typical highway bridges constructed in Iran. An analytical model for simulating nonlinear behavior due to the rocking motion in the self-centering system is first developed and verified by comparing the analytical response with the experimental results. Then, the concrete bends of the three typical bridges in Iran are modeled and analyzed once as a conventional system and once as a self-centering system, and the seismic performance of these two systems is compared with each other. The results of this study indicate that despite the modest increase in maximum lateral drifts, the residual drifts are substantially reduced when the conventional system is replaced by the self-centering system.


Main Subjects

[1] Kawashima, K. (2000). Seismic design and retrofit of bridges. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering 33(3), 265-285.
[2] Mackie, K. and Stojadinovic, B. Residual Displacements and Post-Earthquake Capacity of Highway Bridges, Proceedings of the 13th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Vancouver, Canada, August, 2004. Paper No. 1550.
[3] White, S. L. (2014). Controlled damage rocking systems for accelerated bridge construction, Master’s Thesis, University of Canterbury.
[4] Guerrini, G., Restrepo, J. I., Vervelidis, A., & Massari, M. (2015). Self-centering precast concrete dual-steel-shell columns for accelerated bridge construction: seismic performance, analysis, and design. Report No. PEER 201513.
[5] Routledge, P., McHaffie, B., Cowan, M., & Palermo, A. (2019). Wigram–Magdala Link Bridge: Low-Damage Details for a More Efficient Seismic Design Philosophy. Structural Engineering International, 1-8.
[6] Routledge, P. J., Cowan, M. J., & Palermo, A. (2016). Low-damage detailing for bridges—a case study of Wigram–Magdala bridge. In Proceedings, New Zealand society for earthquake engineering 2016 conference. Christchurch.
[7] Priestley, M.J.N., Sritharan, S., Conley, J. and Pampanin, S. 1999. Preliminary Results and Conclusions form the PRESSS Five-Story Precast Concrete Test Building, PCI Journal, 44(6): 42-67.
[8] Priestley, M.J.N., and Tao, J. 1993. Seismic Response of Precast Prestressed Concrete Frames with Partially Debonded Tendons, PCI Journal, 38(1): 58-69.
[9] El-Sheikh, M., Pessiki, S., Sause, R. and Lu, W. 2000. Moment Rotation Behavior of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Precast Concrete Beam-Column Connections, ACI Structural Journal, 97(1): 122-131.
[10] Cheokh, G., Stone, W. and Kunnath, S. 1998. Seismic Response of Precast Concrete Frames with Hybrid Connections, ACI Structural Journal, 95(5): 527-539.
[11] El-Sheikh, M., Sause, R., Pessiki, S. and Lu, W. 1999. Seismic Behavior and Design of Unbonded Post-Tensioned Precast Concrete Frames, PCI Journal, 44(3): 54-71.
[12] Mander, J. B., & Cheng, C.-T. (1997). Seismic resistance of bridge piers based on damage avoidance design. Technical Report NCEER-97-0014. US National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research, Buffalo, NY.
[13] Zatar, M. and Mutsuyoshi, H. 2000. Reduced Residual Displacements of Partially Prestressed Concrete Bridge Piers, Proceedings of the 12th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Auckland, New Zealand, January-February, 2000.
[14] Hewes, J. T. (2003). Seismic design and performance of precast concrete segmental bridge columns. PhD Thesis, University of California at San Diego.
[15] Billington, S. and Yoon, J. 2004. Cyclic Response of Unbonded Posttensioned Precast Columns with Ductile Fiber-Reinforced Concrete, Journal of Bridge Engineering, 9(4): 353-363.