Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Amir Mirmiran

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Syed M. Ahmed

Third Advisor's Name

Arindam Gan Chowdhury

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ton-Lo Wang


Concrete; Confinement; Fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP); Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC); Stress-strain model; Columns; Cyclic loading; Bridge columns; Ground acceleration; Seismic design

Date of Defense



The application of advanced materials in infrastructure has grown rapidly in recent years mainly because of their potential to ease the construction, extend the service life, and improve the performance of structures. Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is one such material considered as a novel alternative to conventional concrete. The material microstructure in UHPC is optimized to significantly improve its material properties including compressive and tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, durability, and damage tolerance. Fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite is another novel construction material with excellent properties such as high strength-to-weight and stiffness-to-weight ratios and good corrosion resistance. Considering the exceptional properties of UHPC and FRP, many advantages can result from the combined application of these two advanced materials, which is the subject of this research.

The confinement behavior of UHPC was studied for the first time in this research. The stress-strain behavior of a series of UHPC-filled fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) tubes with different fiber types and thicknesses were tested under uniaxial compression. The FRP confinement was shown to significantly enhance both the ultimate strength and strain of UHPC. It was also shown that existing confinement models are incapable of predicting the behavior of FRP-confined UHPC. Therefore, new stress-strain models for FRP-confined UHPC were developed through an analytical study.

In the other part of this research, a novel steel-free UHPC-filled FRP tube (UHPCFFT) column system was developed and its cyclic behavior was studied. The proposed steel-free UHPCFFT column showed much higher strength and stiffness, with a reasonable ductility, as compared to its conventional reinforced concrete (RC) counterpart. Using the results of the first phase of column tests, a second series of UHPCFFT columns were made and studied under pseudo-static loading to study the effect of column parameters on the cyclic behavior of UHPCFFT columns. Strong correlations were noted between the initial stiffness and the stiffness index, and between the moment capacity and the reinforcement index. Finally, a thorough analytical study was carried out to investigate the seismic response of the proposed steel-free UHPCFFT columns, which showed their superior earthquake resistance, as compared to their RC counterparts.





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