Document Type

Concrete structures paper

Publication details

Sfahani, MG, Guan, H & Loo, YC 2014, 'Preliminary evaluation of seismic capacity of concrete highway bridges considering damage accumulation', in ST Smith (ed.), 23rd Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials (ACMSM23), vol. I, Byron Bay, NSW, 9-12 December, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, pp. 369-374. ISBN: 9780994152008.

Peer Reviewed



A practical approach to manage and reduce earthquake risk of structure is to conduct seismic performance assessment. In this approach, the structural performance levels are described by the damage limit-states which are specified in the form of peak responses by the current seismic codes. However, due to the dynamic nature of seismic load, peak responses cannot capture the actual effects of damage accumulation. Therefore, in order to accurately quantify the seismic risk to structures, it is important to re-evaluate and examine the seismic capacities of structures in the form of cumulative damage indices. In this paper, a typical RC supporting structure of highway bridges is examined. Two nonlinear FE models of the supporting structure are established using the discrete and smeared cracking models for concrete fracture. Each model is then analysed under increased quasi-static, cyclic, and seismic loading individually up to the near-collapse performance level. To identify the level of seismic capacities of both models, seismic damage is evaluated in the form of both the peak and cumulative responses. The results of this study can be used to further develop the seismic fragility curves for the supporting structure, when damage accumulation is concerned.