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Unbonded Posttensioned Concrete Bridge Piers.

I: Monotonic and Cyclic Analyses

Wing-Pin Kwan, A.M.ASCE,1 and Sarah L. Billington, A.M.ASCE2

Abstract: The monotonic and cyclic behavior of a proposed unbonded, posttensioned concrete bridge pier system is studied using
finite-element analyses. A procedure to evaluate seismic capacities based on results from the monotonic and cyclic analyses is described
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in the framework of a two-level approach considering functional- and survival-performance limits. A set of criteria to define functional-
and survival-level displacement capacities for the system is developed. The proposed criteria represent improvements over existing criteria
in that they are applicable to both conventional reinforced concrete structures and unbonded posttensioned structures. The monotonic and
cyclic behavior of prototype single-column pier and two-column bent designs is presented. Monotonic analyses are performed to char-
acterize the stiffness, strength, ductility, and limit-state behavior of these systems. Cyclic analyses are carried out to estimate energy
dissipation capacity, residual displacements, and general hysteretic behavior. The influence of the degree of unbonded posttensioning on
bridge pier behavior is examined. Using the finite-element results and the proposed criteria, seismic capacities of the prototype bridge pier
systems are established.
DOI: 10.1061/共ASCE兲1084-0702共2003兲8:2共92兲
CE Database keywords: Post tensioning; Bridge piers; Bridges, concrete; Finite element method; Cyclic loads.

Introduction extension in the member is distributed equally throughout the

length of the tendon. As a result, unbonded posttensioned systems
The bridge pier system investigated in this research is a segmen- typically exhibit nonlinear elastic load-deflection behavior under
tally precast concrete system with unbonded posttensioning. Fig. cyclic loading. The residual displacement is hence minimal upon
1 shows a schematic design of a two-column bent for the pro- unloading. However, the lack of yielding also means there is little
posed system, which is composed of three basic segment types: opportunity for energy dissipation as compared to bonded post-
column segments, cap beam segments, and a template segment tensioning. Therefore, with unbonded posttensioning there is re-
that connects the column to the cap beam. This system, similar to duced hysteretic damping in the structure, which is expected to
one originally developed for a nonseismic region 共Billington et al. lead to increased displacement response during an earthquake.
2001兲, uses vertical posttensioning through the column shaft con- As Priestley 共1997兲 pointed out, given the difficulty of repair
necting the cap to the column. Horizontal posttensioning is used after an earthquake, it is arguable that residual displacements are
to connect cap beam segments when necessary. ultimately more important than maximum displacements. In the
The proposed system uses both bonded and unbonded rein- proposed bridge pier system, unbonded posttensioning is adopted
forcement. Unbonded vertical posttensioning is used to minimize in the columns to minimize residual displacements. Additional
residual displacements, and bonded mild reinforcement is used to mild reinforcement is adopted for hysteretic energy dissipation as
provide energy dissipation capacity and to control cracking. This well as for controlling crack widths.
combination of bonded and unbonded reinforcement is applied to The main advantage of the proposed system is that the propor-
the segmentally precast bridge pier systems in the form of both tion of unbonded posttensioning to mild reinforcement can be
single-column piers and two-column bents. Single-column piers adjusted according to the emphasis placed on the control of maxi-
would simply be one-half of the bent shown in Fig. 1. The mum displacement versus the control of residual displacement.
adopted concept for reinforcement combinations is similar to that This can be achieved through performance-based seismic design
of Ikeda 共1998兲 and Ito et al. 共1997兲, who studied this combina- procedures 共Kwan 2001兲. Other advantages of the proposed sys-
tion through physical experiments with bridge column models. tem include on-site construction efficiency 共reduced disruption of
Unlike bonded posttensioning, unbonded posttensioning gen- traffic and the environment as compared with cast-in-place con-
erally does not yield even at high ductility levels, since strain struction兲, increased durability of concrete through controlled
conditions of precast facilities, and potential economy through
Design Engineer, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, 30 Broad St., 47/F, standardization of precast segments.
New York, NY 10004. The main disadvantage of an unbonded posttensioned system
Assistant Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in seismic regions is its low energy-dissipation capacity. Other
Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY 14853. potential disadvantages are issues with construction efficiency in-
Note. Discussion open until August 1, 2003. Separate discussions
volved with including continuous, bonded mild reinforcement
must be submitted for individual papers. To extend the closing date by
one month, a written request must be filed with the ASCE Managing across precast segments, as well as issues of serviceability and
Editor. The manuscript for this paper was submitted for review and pos- durability associated with the lack of a protective bonding agent
sible publication on July 17, 2001; approved on January 15, 2002. This around the posttensioning steel against corrosion, and a lack of
paper is part of the Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 8, No. 2, March crack control where minimal bonded mild reinforcement is used.
1, 2003. ©ASCE, ISSN 1084-0702/2003/2-92–101/$18.00. The scope of this research is limited to seismic issues.


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

sioning greatly reduced residual drift. In addition, the loss of pre-
stress was reduced due to the delay in yielding of the unbonded
posttensioning steel.
Analytical studies investigating the seismic response of un-
bonded posttensioned systems include time-history analyses of
single-degree-of-freedom models with idealized hysteretic behav-
ior 共Priestley and Tao 1993兲 and time-history analyses of frame
models of precast concrete frames with hybrid connections
共Cheok et al. 1998兲. Static and seismic analyses of unbonded
posttensioned precast concrete walls were carried out by Kurama
et al. 共1999a,b兲 using fiber models. El-Sheikh et al. 共1999, 2000兲
analyzed unbonded posttensioned precast concrete frames also
using fiber models.
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Less research has been performed on the seismic application

of precast posttensioned concrete systems for bridges. One pro-
posed concept uses both unbonded posttensioning and mild rein-
Fig. 1. Segmentally precast, posttensioned bridge pier system forcement in bridge piers for moment capacity 共Ito et al. 1997;
Ikeda 1998兲. Another concept studied by Mander and Cheng
共1997b兲 involves a pier designed to have the columns rock back
The main objective of the research presented here is to assess and forth as a rigid body. The longitudinal mild reinforcement is
the seismic behavior of the proposed unbonded posttensioned sys- terminated at the beam-column interface to enable the rocking of
tem based on numerical simulations. Finite-element analyses are the column, and the unbonded posttensioning acts mainly to re-
carried out using a set of material models that have been cali- strain lateral displacement. Mander and Cheng 共1997a兲 also tested
brated and verified against numerous experiments 共Kwan and a precast, pretensioned concrete bridge column that had cast-in-
Billington 2001兲. Monotonic analyses 共where the model is sub- place ‘‘replaceable hinge zones’’ at each end. The concept was to
jected to a unidirectional load or displacement of an increasing localize damage where it would be repairable after cyclic loading.
magnitude兲 are carried out to characterize the stiffness, strength, The column was repaired and retested twice. Both studies by
ductility, and limit-state behavior of these systems. Cyclic analy- Mander and Cheng were based on physical experiments under
ses 共where the model is subjected to a load or displacement in cyclic loading.
reversing directions without dynamic effects兲 are carried out to The use of horizontal bonded posttensioning along precast cap
obtain the energy-dissipation capacity, residual displacements, beam segments of bridge bents has been studied by Sritharan
and general hysteretic behavior of these systems. Seismic capaci- et al. 共1999, 2000兲. Cyclic loading experiments showed that the
ties of prototype designs of bridge pier systems, which vary in the horizontal posttensioning along the cap beam resulted in lower
ratio of unbonded posttensioning to mild reinforcement, are thus joint damage and better anchorage of the longitudinal column
evaluated. The predicted capacities are compared with the ex- reinforcement.
pected demands on such systems in a companion paper 共Kwan
and Billington 2003兲 using a performance-based seismic design
Estimating Seismic Capacity from Monotonic and
To assess the seismic capacities of the proposed system, a
Cyclic Analysis
procedure to evaluate seismic capacities based on results from the
monotonic and cyclic analyses is developed. Seismic performance
is evaluated based on a two-level framework, in which the func- Functional- and Survival-Performance Levels
tional and the survival performance of the bridge pier system are
considered. A systematic approach to assess the seismic behavior of a struc-
A secondary objective of this paper is to propose a set of ture is through the consideration of performance objectives in
criteria to define the functional-and survival-level displacement association with specified seismic hazard levels. This approach
capacities of the proposed structural system. The proposed criteria forms the basis of performance-based design criteria in seismic
represent improvements over existing criteria in that they are ap- codes such as those of the National Earthquake Hazards Reduc-
plicable to both conventional mildly reinforced concrete struc- tion Program 共FEMA 1997兲. In the evaluation of the proposed
tures and unbonded posttensioned structures. bridge pier system, performance objectives are considered for a
functional-level and a survival-level earthquake. At the
functional-level earthquake 共which is associated with a higher
Background probability of occurrence兲, the performance objective is to keep
the structure operational without major repairs. At the survival-
The use of unbonded posttensioning in precast concrete building level earthquake 共which is associated with a lower probability of
systems for seismic resistance has been investigated in a number occurrence兲, the performance objective is to prevent structural
of recent studies 关summary in Stanton et al. 共1991兲 and Priestley collapse while allowing for major but repairable damage.
共1996兲兴. Experimental studies on precast beam-to-column joint Specification of the seismic performance levels requires con-
subassemblages with unbonded posttensioning were conducted by sideration of the limit states of the proposed bridge pier system.
Priestley and MacRae 共1996兲. Another design concept utilizing The limit states of an unbonded posttensioned structure are shown
both unbonded posttensioning and mild steel in hybrid moment- schematically in Fig. 2 关based on Kurama 共1997兲兴. In contrast to
resisting precast connections was tested by Stanton et al. 共1997兲. mildly reinforced concrete structures, the apparent yielding of the
Both of these studies showed that the use of unbonded postten- structure 共signified by the major change in stiffness of the load-


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

Fig. 3. Definition of functional-performance level considering
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residual displacements

Fig. 2. Limit states of structural system with unbonded

Proposed Criteria for Functional- and Survival-Level
The functional-level displacement capacity of the unbonded post-
tensioned bridge pier systems is defined as the minimum of
1. Displacement at yielding of unbonded posttensioning;
displacement curve兲 occurs well in advance of the yielding of the 2. Displacement leading to 1% residual drift; and
unbonded posttensioning. The decrease in the stiffness of the 3. 0.7 times survival-level displacement.
structure is mostly due to cracking of the concrete in tension and Criterion 1 is adopted from Kurama 共1997兲 for the functional
partly due to the nonlinear stress-strain behavior of the concrete capacity of unbonded posttensioned systems. Because prestress-
in compression. ing steel does not have a well-defined yield point, a reasonable
As proposed by Kurama 共1997兲, the functional-performance definition of yield stress is adopted in accordance with Nilson
level is associated with the yielding of the unbonded posttension- 共1987兲. For the posttensioning bars, the yield strain is defined as
ing. The yielding of the unbonded posttensioning leads to a loss 0.007. For the posttensioning strand, the yield strain is defined as
in prestress, which would cause a decrease in the stiffness and 0.01.
load-carrying capacity of the structure, hence affecting its func- Criterion 2 is proposed to assess if a structure is functional
tional performance. The survival-performance level is associated based on its residual displacements. Criterion 2 refers to the dis-
with the crushing of the concrete and/or the buckling of longitu- placement on the monotonic load-displacement curve that would
dinal reinforcement. Both events lead to a decrease in the load- give rise to a residual drift of 1% 共Fig. 3兲. The load-displacement
carrying capacity of the structure, which would ultimately lead to curves can be taken from the envelope of the cyclic load-
collapse. displacement curves.
The above specifications of performance levels based on Criterion 3 is proposed to ensure a sufficient margin of safety
Kurama 共1997兲 are generalized here for systems with or without for structures that exhibit brittle behavior near a functional-level
unbonded posttensioning. For concrete structures with conven- earthquake. For structures with brittle behavior, the displacements
tional mild reinforcement, different limit states need to be consid- corresponding to criterion 1 or 2 may occur very close to 共or even
ered for the functional-performance level. Hose et al. 共2000兲 pro- after兲 the survival-level displacement of the structure.
posed specific damage criteria corresponding to a range of The survival-level displacement is the displacement signaling
performance levels for conventional concrete structures. Their cri- the onset of collapse of the structure, which is commonly referred
teria are dependent on quantitative measurements of localized be- to as the ultimate displacement, x u . The criterion proposed for the
havior such as crack widths and dimensions of spalling regions. survival-level displacement is the displacement at which the ca-
As a result, these criteria are more suitable to be applied to field pacity drops to 90% of the peak load, F u .
observations or experimental studies. The use of these criteria The drop in the capacity considered in the criterion for
with results from finite-element analyses would require accurate survival-level displacement is caused by limit states such as
prediction of localized damage from the finite-element models. As crushing of concrete and buckling of longitudinal reinforcement.
demonstrated in Kwan and Billington 共2001兲, the material models In this research, concrete crushing is modeled but reinforcement
to be used here are sufficiently accurate for predicting global buckling is not. Instead, the prototype designs are all detailed to
hysteretic response. However, reliable local damage predictions avoid buckling of longitudinal reinforcement.
such as crack widths and spalled regions would require further The functional- and survival-level performance of the proto-
improvements in the material models to be accurate and compu- type designs may also be described in terms of ductility. The
tationally efficient for the relatively large-scale analyses per- ductility ␮, corresponding to a given displacement level x, is de-
formed here. fined as
Therefore, a set of criteria is proposed herein to define the x
functional- and survival-performance levels applicable to con- ␮⫽ (1)
crete structures with bonded and/or unbonded reinforcement. The
proposed criteria are not dependent on quantification of localized where x y ⫽system yield displacement. To define the system yield
behavior and are therefore suitable for use with results from displacements, the nonlinear load-displacement behavior of each
finite-element analyses. design is approximated by a bilinear model wherein discrepancies


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

Table 1. Input and Design Loads of Prototype Bridge Pier Systems The single-column pier and the two-column bent are respec-
Single-column Two-column tively designed for a peak ground acceleration 共PGA兲 of 0.3 and
Input piers bents 0.5g. The adopted PGAs of the designs correspond to seismic
zone SPC D in AASHTO classifications, which represents regions
PGA 共g兲 0.3 0.5
with severe seismicity. The PGAs considered in AASHTO corre-
Mass, m 共ton兲 409 421
spond to accelerations with a 10% probably of exceedance in 50
Natural period, T n 共s兲 0.754 0.446
years, or a return period of 475 years. The prototype substructures
Seismic response coefficient, C s 共g兲 0.434 0.822
are designed to be located on rock or stiff soils; hence a site
Force-reduction factor, R 3 5
coefficient of S⫽1 is adopted.
Lateral seismic load, F x 共kN兲 580 679 The bridge piers are designed for a multispan bridge with 40 m
Design moment, M n 共kN•m兲 783 1,029 spans. The height of the bridge is 8 m from the top of the footing
to the center of gravity of the superstructure. The dimensions of
in energy dissipated between the model and actual behavior are the single-column pier and the two-column bent are shown in Fig.
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equated. Details of this approximation are given in Kwan 共2001兲. 4.

For the superstructure, the width of the bridge deck is 11.5 m
for the single-column piers and 12.5 m for the two-column bents.
Prototype Bridge Pier Designs The weight per unit area of the superstructure consisting of a
concrete deck slab and steel girders is estimated to be 7.5 kPa.
The prototype bridge piers considered are a single-column pier The unconfined compressive strength of the concrete, f ⬘c , is taken
and a two-column bent. The prototype bridge piers are designed as 35 MPa. Grade 60 steel ( f y ⫽420 MPa) is used for both lon-
for a steel-stringer superstructure system according to the seismic gitudinal and transverse mild reinforcement. Two types of post-
provisions in the AASHTO 共1996兲 Standard Specifications for tensioning are used in the designs: Dywidag bars with an ultimate
Highway Bridges, which are based on the use of the elastic ac- strength of f pu ⫽1,100 MPa, and tendons of 7-wire strand with an
celeration response spectrum. Design loads for the prototype de- ultimate strength of f pu ⫽1,860 MPa.
signs of the single-column pier and the two-column bent deter- Based on the design loads in Table 1, four designs are consid-
mined according to this procedure are outlined in Table 1. ered for each of the substructure systems. The four designs differ

Fig. 4. Prototype design model dimensions and reinforcement details


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

in the amount of unbonded posttensioning in the pier-columns. eight-noded isoparametric plane-stress elements with a 3 by 3
On one extreme are designs reinforced with only unbonded post- integration scheme. Mild steel is modeled by embedded subele-
tensioning, and on the other extreme are designs reinforced with ments. The unbonded posttensioned bars 共PT on the figure兲 are
only mild steel. The designs are named according to the following modeled as single-truss elements with end nodes attached to the
convention: nodes of the concrete elements at the anchorage locations. This
P⫽Unbonded posttensioning only; representation allows for the change in strain in the concrete to be
PM⫽Mostly unbonded posttensioning with some mild steel; evenly distributed along the full length of the tendons.
MP⫽Mostly mild steel with some unbonded posttensioning; The superstructure is modeled by a lumped mass located at its
center of gravity and connected to the substructure through a rigid
M⫽Mild steel only.
beam element. The rigid beam element is connected to the con-
The number following each designation denotes the type of
tinuum elements through tyings, which impose linear dependen-
bridge pier system, where 1 refers to single-column piers and 2
refers to two-column bents. cies between the end node of the beam and the nodes of the
The reinforcing details of the column sections in the prototype continuum elements across the top of the pier. The modeling of
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designs are also shown in Fig. 4. The reinforcement ratio for the the superstructure approximates a bearing-supported structure that
mild steel, ␳ s , and for the unbonded posttensioning, ␳ ps , are imposes little constraint on the top of the piers. The match-cast,
defined as the area of each type of steel divided by the gross epoxy-filled joints of the precast segments are not explicitly mod-
cross-sectional area of the column. The four designs for each pier eled. Shear slip at these joints is not expected.
system are detailed to have similar strengths. The column-footing connection region is modeled to accom-
Coupled posttensioning bars are used in all of the prototype modate the unbonded posttensioning, which extends into the foot-
designs with posttensioning. For prototype design P-1, postten- ing. The base regions of the substructure system are fixed on the
sioning strands are used in addition to posttensioning bars. Post- sides. While the influence of soil-structure interaction may be
tensioning strands would be placed as a U-loop to keep all an- taken into account via the use of soil springs, this effect is not
chorages at the top of the column for ease of installation. The considered here.
U-looped ducts would be grouted within the footing only. An elasticity-based constitutive model with a total strain for-
The prototype designs are detailed according to the require- mulation 共Feenstra et al. 1998兲 and secant unloading/reloading is
ments for confinement and transverse reinforcement in AASHTO adopted for the concrete. A smeared rotating crack model with
共1996兲. In addition, the diameter and spacing of the transverse linear softening is used in tension to represent cracking, and a
reinforcement are selected to prevent buckling of the longitudinal
confined concrete model according to Mander et al. 共1988兲 is
reinforcement. An effective prestress of f pe ⫽0.45f pu is assumed
used for compression to represent crushing. The influence of lat-
for the posttensioning bars and strands for the single-column
eral stresses on the constitutive behavior is accounted for using
piers. For the two-column bents, f pe ⫽0.45f pu and f pe ⫽0.55f pu
are respectively assumed for the posttensioning in the columns the modified compression field theory 共Vecchio and Collins 1986,
and the cap beam. The cap beams in the two-column bents are 1993兲 in the adopted model. A steel model based on Su and Zhu
detailed to yield after yielding of the columns. 共1994兲 capable of representing the Bauschinger effect of steel
under cyclic load is implemented and used for the reinforcement.
This set of models for concrete and steel has been calibrated and
Finite-Element Models
verified against numerous experiments and was found to simulate
The finite-element models of the single-column piers and the two- well the cyclic behavior of components similar to the bridge piers
column bents are shown in Fig. 5. In both cases, the models use investigated herein 共Kwan and Billington 2001兲.

Fig. 5. Finite-element meshes for prototype design models


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

For the monotonic analyses 共pushover analyses兲, a lateral load
is applied to the center of gravity of the superstructure system. In
the cyclic analyses, the finite-element models are subjected to
displacement cycles with increments of 70 mm, which is equal to
1% of the height from the base to the top of the substructure
system. For both the monotonic and cyclic analyses, a distributed
axial load equal to the weight of the superstructure system is
applied to the top of the substructure.

Analysis of Single-Column Piers

Monotonic Analysis
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The monotonic load-displacement behavior for the prototype de-

signs of the single-column pier from the analyses is shown in Fig.
6. Indicated on the load-displacement curves are 共1兲 the propor-
tional limit of the posttensioning; 共2兲 the yielding of the postten- Fig. 6. Monotonic analyses of single-column designs
sioning; and 共3兲 the ultimate limit state defined as the point at
which the load drops to 90% of the peak load. Note that M-1 is
reinforced with only mild steel; hence only limit state 共3兲 is indi-
The most notable difference in the behavior of the four designs end of the first cycle in Table 3 is more a result of the difference
is their ultimate displacement capacity. The displacement capacity in strength and stiffness between the designs than a result of dif-
of M-1 is more than twice that of P-1. As expected, designs with ferences in hysteretic behavior. Except for the first cycle, the hys-
a higher degree of unbonded posttensioning have lower displace- teretic energy dissipation of MP-1 is on average 84% that of M-1,
ment capacities. This trend is directly related to the high compres- and the hysteretic energy dissipation of PM-1 is on average 67%
sive stresses associated with the higher level of posttensioning, that of M-1. The hysteretic energy dissipation of P-1 increases
which leads to earlier crushing of concrete. from 27 to 50% that of M-1. The observed increase in energy
Yielding of the posttensioning occurs only in PM-1 and MP-1. dissipation is associated with extensive crushing of concrete in
Both the proportional limit and the yielding of the posttensioning the fourth cycle 共Fig. 7兲. The crushing of concrete also leads to
occur slightly sooner in MP-1 than in PM-1. For P-1, the postten- shortening of the column and hence a loss of prestress in the bars
sioning bars and strands remain elastic until the ultimate displace- and strand. The self-centering ability of the column is then lost, as
ment is reached. is seen with the increased residual displacement 共Table 2兲. This
Although the four designs were detailed to have similar phenomenon has been observed in the posttensioned column ex-
strengths, the strengths and cracked stiffnesses are not identical periments of Ito et al. 共1997兲, which were also simulated by
due to constraints on available sizes of reinforcement and the ease Kwan and Billington 共2001兲 using the same set of constitutive
of maintaining a symmetrical layout of reinforcement. Before the models as are used here. Crushing is also observed in PM-1 at the
strength of P-1 drops off due to crushing of concrete, P-1 main- sixth cycle, where there is a notable increase in the residual dis-
tains a higher strength and has a higher cracked stiffness than the placement accompanied by a decrease in the strength of the struc-
other designs. As expected, a design with a higher degree of post- ture.
tensioning has a higher cracked stiffness.

Cyclic Analysis
The cyclic behavior for the prototype designs of the single-
column pier from the analyses is shown in Fig. 7. The averages of
the positive and negative residual displacements occurring at each
cycle are listed in Table 2. These residual displacements are later
used to determine the functional level displacement according to
proposed limit-state criterion 2. Table 3 gives the hysteretic en-
ergy dissipation at the end of each cycle normalized by the hys-
teretic energy dissipation of M-1 at the end of the corresponding
cycle. Hysteretic energy dissipation is computed as the area en-
closed by the hysteretic curves.
The hysteretic response of the designs differs significantly. As
expected, P-1 has the least energy dissipation and the lowest re-
sidual displacements, whereas M-1 has the highest energy dissi-
pation and the highest residual displacements. The cyclic analyses
correspond to the monotonic analyses in showing that P-1 has the
most brittle behavior of the designs, and that PM-1 has the next
lowest ultimate displacement capacity.
All of the prototype designs remain largely elastic at the end of
Fig. 7. Cyclic analysis of single-column pier designs
the first cycle. Hence the difference in the energy values at the


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

Table 2. Average Residual Displacements
Average Residual Displacement 共mm兲
Cycle number P-1 PM-1 MP-1 M-1 P-2 PM-2 MP-2 M-2
Cycle 1 0.7 0.8 0.4 0.3 0.8 1.7 3.0 5.3
Cycle 2 0.8 2.3 5.1 11 0.9 3.6 10 50
Cycle 3 0.5 3.2 11 53 6.3 7.0 26 101
Cycle 4 8.8 6.1 32 113 88 31 76 152
Cycle 5 — 8.6 68 157 — — — —
Cycle 6 — 48 126 225 — — — —
Cycle 7 — 204 180 267 — — — —
Cycle 8 — 323 278 339 — — — —
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Functional- and Survival-Level Displacement The self-centering ability of the unbonded posttensioning leads to
Capacities lower residual displacements, hence giving them an advantage in
A summary of the displacements at a number of limit states for their functional-level performance. Despite the low residual dis-
the prototype designs of the single-column pier is given in Table placements of P-1, its functional ductility capacity is lower than
4, along with the functional and survival displacement capacities that of PM-1 and MP-1 because of premature crushing of con-
and ductility capacities of the prototype designs. The survival crete. The results indicate that the effectiveness of using un-
displacement capacity is taken as the displacement corresponding bonded posttensioning to increase functional ductility capacity
to item 共1兲 in Table 4, and the functional displacement capacity is 共by reducing residual displacements兲 may be limited by problems
determined by the minimum of the displacements corresponding with premature crushing of concrete.
to items 共3兲, 共4兲, and 共5兲, as underlined in Table 4. Item 共2兲 is The survival ductility capacity ranges from 5.9 for P-1 to 12.4
included for reference. Item 共3兲 corresponds to proposed criterion for M-1. The survival ductility capacity is lower in the designs
2, where the displacement corresponding to 1% residual drift is with a higher degree of unbonded posttensioning. This is expected
obtained by interpolation using the maximum displacements at because the higher compressive stresses from the posttensioning
the end of each cycle and the average residual displacements in lead to early failure by crushing of concrete. The use of unbonded
the corresponding cycle 共Fig. 3兲. The ductility capacities are posttensioning may warrant the use of higher-strength concrete in
evaluated using Eq. 共1兲, which utilizes a system yield displace- the proposed bridge-pier system.
ment 共also listed in Table 4兲 as previously defined.
The functional ductility capacity for M-1 is controlled by the
limit state associated with residual displacements. The use of un-
Analysis of Two-Column Bents
bonded posttensioning substantially decreases the residual dis-
placements of P-1, PM-1, and MP-1. The functional ductility ca-
pacity of PM-1 and MP-1 is controlled by the yielding of the Monotonic Analysis
unbonded posttensioning. The unbonded posttensioning does not
yield in P-1, and the residual displacements remain minimal. The monotonic load-displacement behavior for the prototype de-
Therefore the functional ductility capacity of P-1 is controlled by signs of the two-column bent from the analyses is shown in Fig.
the limit state associated with 0.7 times the ultimate displacement 8. Yielding of the cap beams is not observed in any of the proto-
关item 共5兲兴. The behavior of a predominantly prestressed member type designs before yielding of the columns. There is a notable
such as P-1 illustrates the importance of having a limit-state cri- difference in the ultimate displacement capacities of the four de-
terion that ensures a sufficient margin of safety for structures with signs similar to that of the single-column pier designs. The dis-
potentially brittle behavior under a functional-level earthquake. placement capacity of M-2 is about twice that of P-2. Designs
The functional ductility capacity ranges from 4.0 for M-1 to with a higher proportion of unbonded posttensioning correspond
5.6 for PM-1. The functional ductility capacity is higher for the to lower displacement capacities due to earlier concrete crushing.
partially prestressed designs 共PM-1, MP-1兲 than both the fully The proportional limit of the posttensioning occurs slightly
prestressed design 共P-1兲 and the mildly reinforced design 共M-1兲. sooner in PM-2 than MP-2. However, yielding of the posttension-

Table 3. Normalized Hysteretic Energy Dissipation

Normalized Hysteretic Energy Dissipation
Cycle number P-1 PM-1 MP-1 M-1 PT-2 PM-2 MP-2 M-2
Cycle 1 0.91 0.69 1.01 1.00 0.25 0.80 0.94 1.00
Cycle 2 0.27 0.71 0.87 1.00 0.17 0.59 0.78 1.00
Cycle 3 0.29 0.63 0.85 1.00 0.31 0.58 0.77 1.00
Cycle 4 0.43 0.64 0.83 1.00 — 0.64 0.78 1.00
Cycle 5 0.50 0.62 0.83 1.00 — — — —
Cycle 6 — 0.69 0.82 1.00 — — — —
Cycle 7 — 0.72 0.83 1.00 — — — —
Cycle 8 — 0.71 0.84 1.00 — — — —


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

Table 4. Displacement and Ductility Capacities at Considered Limit States
Displacement P-1 PM-1 MP-1 M-1 P-2 PM-2 MP-2 M-2
共1兲 Ultimate displacement 共at 0.9F u ) 共mm兲 321 484 542 743 221 287 319 394
共2兲 Displacement at proportional limit of posttensioning 共mm兲 — 206 194 — — 200 185 —
共3兲 Displacement at yielding of posttensioning 共mm兲 — 314 290 — — — 275 —
共4兲 displacement leading to 1% residual drift 共mm兲 — 435 365 241 — — — 182
共5兲 0.7 Ultimate displacement 共mm兲 225 339 379 520 155 201 223 276
Yield displacement 共mm兲 55 56 56 60 34 34 34 38
Functional ductility capacity 4.1 5.6 5.2 4.0 4.6 5.9 6.6 4.8
Survival ductility capacity 5.9 8.6 9.6 12.4 6.5 8.5 9.4 10.5

ing only occurs in MP-2. The variation in strength of the designs istics of their hysteretic behavior become more prominent. Except
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is again a result of the design constraints of using existing discrete for the first cycle, the hysteretic energy dissipation of MP-2 is on
bar sizes. average 78% that of M-2, and the hysteretic energy dissipation of
PM-2 is on average 60% that of M-2. The hysteretic energy dis-
sipation of P-2 increases from 17% that of M-2 at the end of the
Cyclic Analysis
second cycle to 31% that of M-2 at the end of the third cycle, at
The cyclic behavior of the prototype designs of the two-column which point there is an abrupt drop in strength of P-2. The in-
bent from the analyses is shown in Fig. 9. The average of the creasing hysteretic energy dissipation of P-2 is again associated
positive and negative residual displacements is given in Table 2, with the crushing of concrete and the resulting loss of prestress.
and values of the normalized hysteretic energy dissipation with During the fourth cycle, PM-2 also begins to fail by concrete
respect to M-2 are given in Table 3. crushing.
Similar to the single-column pier designs, P-2 has the least
energy dissipation and the lowest residual displacements, whereas
Functional- and Survival-Level Displacements
M-2 has the highest energy dissipation and the highest residual
displacements. As with the monotonic analyses, the cyclic analy- The displacements at the considered limit states for the prototype
ses show that P-2 has the most brittle behavior of each of the designs of the two-column bent are listed in Table 4. Also listed
designs. The next most brittle design according to the monotonic are the determined functional and survival displacement and duc-
analyses, PM-2, shows considerable strength and stiffness degra- tility capacities. The controlling limit state for the functional duc-
dation that is absent in MP-2 and M-2 at the same maximum tility capacity of each design is underlined. The functional ductil-
displacement level considered in the cyclic analyses. The strength ity capacity of M-2 is controlled by residual displacements.
of MP-2 begins to degrade at the end of the cyclic analyses. This Yielding of the unbonded posttensioning does not occur in P-2 or
drop in strength 共at a displacement of roughly 250 mm兲 corre- PM-2 before the ultimate limit state, and it only occurs in MP-2
sponds roughly to the displacement at which yielding of the un- very close to its ultimate limit state. As a result, the functional
bonded posttensioning occurs in the monotonic analyses 共Fig. 8兲. ductility capacities of P-2, PM-2, and MP-2 are all controlled by
The bent designs exhibit a certain degree of inelastic behavior the limit state defined by 0.7 times the ultimate displacement.
at the end of the first cycle. Hence some differences in the hys- The functional ductility capacity ranges from 4.6 共for P-2兲 to
teretic energy dissipation of the designs already exist at the end of 6.6 共for MP-2兲. As in the case of the single-column pier designs,
the first cycle 共Table 3兲. The differences in hysteretic energy dis- the functional ductility capacity is higher for the designs with
sipation increase in subsequent cycles as the individual character- partial posttensioning 共PM-2, MP-2兲 than for the fully postten-
sioned design 共P-2兲 or the mildly reinforced design 共M-2兲. The
higher functional capacities of PM-2 and MP-2 over M-2 result

Fig. 8. Monotonic analyses of two-column bent designs Fig. 9. Cyclic analysis of two-column bent designs


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

from the self-centering ability of the unbonded posttensioning. In ment capacities due to high compressive stresses, leading to ear-
this case, the functional ductility capacity of MP-2 is almost 40% lier crushing of concrete. From the cyclic analyses, designs with a
higher than that of M-2. While P-2 has the lowest residual dis- higher proportion of unbonded posttensioning are found to have
placements, its functional ductility capacity is still lower than that lower energy dissipation and lower residual displacements. This
of the other designs because of early crushing of concrete. trend results directly from the elastic behavior of the unbonded
The survival ductility capacity ranges from 6.5 共for P-2兲 to posttensioning up to high system ductility levels.
10.5 共for M-2兲. Again, the survival ductility capacity is lower in From the monotonic and cyclic analyses, the bridge piers are
the designs with a higher degree of unbonded posttensioning due evaluated for functional-level and survival-level seismic perfor-
to the crushing of concrete. mance. A set of criteria for the definition of functional-and
survival- level displacement capacities has been developed. The
proposed functional displacement criterion based on residual dis-
Comparison of Single-Column Piers and placements is particularly useful for weighing the advantage of
Two-Column Bents unbonded posttensioned systems versus conventional mildly rein-
forced structural systems. The proposed functional displacement
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For both types of bridge pier, the all posttensioned designs have criterion based on the crushing of concrete is important for ensur-
very low functional and survival ductility capacities, while all the ing a sufficient margin of safety for structures with potentially
mildly reinforced designs have low functional ductility capacities brittle behavior.
and high survival ductility capacities 共Table 4兲. Designs with both The proposed criteria are more dependent on global response
unbonded posttensioning and mild reinforcement have high func- than on quantification of localized behavior such as crack widths.
tional ductility capacities and moderate survival ductility capaci- This makes the proposed criteria suitable for use with finite-
ties. The functional and survival displacement capacities of the element analyses for which the prediction of detailed local re-
single-column piers are higher than the capacities of the two- sponse is usually less reliable. The criteria are also simple to use
column bents. This difference is due to the development of a with measurement or observation, both in the laboratory and in
higher moment in the columns of the two-column bent for the the field.
same deflection in both systems. Although the two-column bents Based on the developed criteria, the prototype designs with a
have a somewhat higher design strength, as they are designed for combination of unbonded posttensioning and mild reinforcement
a higher hazard level, the strength is not high enough to make the have the highest functional-level displacement capacities. The
displacement capacities higher than in the single-column piers. prototype designs with only mild reinforcement have the highest
The functional and survival ductility capacities are similar in survival-level displacement capacities. The results indicate that an
the two types of bridge-pier systems. The single-column piers are unbonded posttensioned system has the advantage of superior
considerably more flexible than the two-column bents. Despite functional-level performance but the disadvantage of inferior
the weaker strength of the single-column piers 共due to their being survival-level performance, as compared to a conventional mildly
designed for a lower hazard level兲, their flexibility results in reinforced system.
higher yield displacements. Combining the influences of the Depending on the relative importance attributed to the
higher yield displacements with the higher displacement capaci- functional- or the survival-level performance 共through the speci-
ties, the resulting ductility capacities of the single-column piers fications of corresponding seismic hazard levels兲, there may be
are similar to those of the two-column bents considered here. cases where it would be advantageous to adopt an unbonded post-
The similarity in the functional and survival ductility capaci- tensioned system. By varying the ratio of unbonded posttension-
ties of the two systems has important implications for seismic ing to mild reinforcement, different levels of functional ductility
design criteria. The ductility response of a structure is directly capacity relative to survival ductility capacity can be achieved.
related to the R-factor used in conventional seismic design proce- The tailoring of optimal designs according to desired functional-
dures. The similar ductility capacities of the single-column piers and survival-performance levels can be realized through the use
and two-column bents in this study contradict the R-factors rec- of performance-based design procedures 共Kwan 2001兲.
ommended by AASHTO wherein R is taken as three for single- The obtained functional and survival ductility capacities of the
column piers and five for multicolumn bents. Higher R-factors are prototype designs are dependent on the adopted performance cri-
introduced in AASHTO to account for the superior redundancy of teria. Further studies should be conducted to verify the proposed
multicolumn bents. The effect of redundancy is expected to be criteria of the functional- and survival-level displacements as
more prominent in bents with more than two columns. Evaluation more experimental and numerical data become available. Never-
of the capacities of more designs 共including experimental evalu- theless, the proposed criteria provide a rational and systematic
ations兲 is required to verify the ductility capacities expected in framework in evaluating the seismic behavior of unbonded post-
single-column piers and multicolumn bents with unbonded post- tensioned concrete bridge pier systems.
tensioning. Due consideration should be given to bents with more
than two columns to better study the influence of redundancy.
Verified ductility capacities can then be used to recommend Acknowledgments
R-factor values for these systems.
This research was conducted as part of Dr. Wing-Pin Kwan’s PhD
dissertation at Cornell University. The writers gratefully acknowl-
Conclusions edge Sashi Kunnath of University of Central Florida and M. Ger-
aldine Cheok of the National Institute of Science and Technology
The monotonic and cyclic behavior of a proposed unbonded post- for their assistance with the analysis program IDARC employed
tensioned substructure system has been investigated. From the in the research. The finite-element analyses in the research were
monotonic analyses, designs with a higher proportion of un- carried out using the program DIANA, Release 7.1 共developed by
bonded posttensioning are found to have lower ultimate displace- TNO Building and Construction Research in The Netherlands兲.


J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101

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J. Bridge Eng., 2003, 8(2): 92-101