Document Type



Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Amir Mirmiran

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Nakin Suksawang

Third Advisor's Name

Ton-Lo Wang

Fourth Advisor's Name

Yimin Zhu


seismic, frp, frame

Date of Defense



As an alternative to transverse spiral or hoop steel reinforcement, fiber reinforced polymers (FRPs) were introduced to the construction industry in the 1980's. The concept of concrete-filled FRP tube (CFFT) has raised great interest amongst researchers in the last decade. FRP tube can act as a pour form, protective jacket, and shear and flexural reinforcement for concrete. However, seismic performance of CFFT bridge substructure has not yet been fully investigated. Experimental work in this study included four two-column bent tests, several component tests and coupon tests. Four 1/6-scale bridge pier frames, consisting of a control reinforced concrete frame (RCF), glass FRP-concrete frame (GFF), carbon FRP-concrete frame (CFF), and hybrid glass/carbon FRP-concrete frame (HFF) were tested under reverse cyclic lateral loading with constant axial loads. Specimen GFF did not show any sign of cracking at a drift ratio as high as 15% with considerable loading capacity, whereas Specimen CFF showed that lowest ductility with similar load capacity as in Specimen GFF. FRP-concrete columns and pier cap beams were then cut from the pier frame specimens, and were tested again in three point flexure under monotonic loading with no axial load. The tests indicated that bonding between FRP and concrete and yielding of steel both affect the flexural strength and ductility of the components. The coupon tests were carried out to establish the tensile strength and elastic modulus of each FRP tube and the FRP mold for the pier cap beam in the two principle directions of loading. A nonlinear analytical model was developed to predict the load-deflection responses of the pier frames. The model was validated against test results. Subsequently, a parametric study was conducted with variables such as frame height to span ratio, steel reinforcement ratio, FRP tube thickness, axial force, and compressive strength of concrete. A typical bridge was also simulated under three different ground acceleration records and damping ratios. Based on the analytical damage index, the RCF bridge was most severely damaged, whereas the GFF bridge only suffered minor repairable damages. Damping ratio was shown to have a pronounced effect on FRP-concrete bridges, just the same as in conventional bridges. This research was part of a multi-university project, which is founded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation Research (NEESR) program.





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