Shear Performance of Reinforced Lightweight Concrete Square Columns in Seismic Regions

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Title: Shear Performance of Reinforced Lightweight Concrete Square Columns in Seismic Regions
Author: Robalino, Pablo Jose
Advisors: Dr. Mervyn J. Kowalsky, Committee Chair
Dr. Paul Zia, Committee Member
Dr. James M. Nau, Committee Member
Abstract: Considering the importance of shear capacity under seismic demands, clarifying existing differences between analytical models and existing experimental data, further experimental research on shear performance of reinforced lightweight concrete (RLWC) square columns signifies a current necessity for the civil engineering community. Responding to that necessity and in contrast to the majority of past research that considered monotonic loading, this research evaluated the performance of eight normal strength RLWC large scale square columns, under reversed cyclic loading, simulating earthquake demands, and considering shear failure mechanisms. The variables consisted of different types of aggregate for the concrete mixtures and two sets of specimens with different amount of transverse reinforcement. Moreover, one normal weight and three lightweight structural aggregates such as expanded shale, clay, and slate were considered in order to represent the production in the United States. Two sets of four specimens were designed to develop brittle and ductile shear failures at low and high levels of deformation respectively. A comparative analysis between normal, lightweight concrete, experimental, and analytical data was performed focusing on the shear resistance mechanism and behavior under simulated seismic demands. Shear resistance and deformation components were obtained to determine the difference between lightweight and normal weight concrete shear strengths and behavior at different levels of deformation. In general, results consistently revealed that, at low levels of deformation, the concrete shear strength component was lower in the case of lightweight concrete compared to normal weight concrete. Consequently, a shear strength reduction is recommended for normal strength RLWC square columns compared to capacity assessment models for normal weight concrete. Strength degradation, at low levels of deformation, occurred earlier in the case of RLWC compared to normal weight concrete and recommendations are presented also in this regard. Compared to normal weight concrete, lightweight concrete specimens behaved in a slightly less ductile manner, but they were capable to develop large inelastic deformation. In fact, there were no significant differences in terms of energy dissipation between normal and lightweight specimens.
Date: 2006-08-21
Degree: MS
Discipline: Civil Engineering

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