Vulnerability assessment of reinforced concrete columns subjected to vehicular impacts

Thilakarathna, Herath Mudiyanselage Indika (2010) Vulnerability assessment of reinforced concrete columns subjected to vehicular impacts. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Columns are one of the key load bearing elements that are highly susceptible to vehicle impacts. The resulting severe damages to columns may leads to failures of the supporting structure that are catastrophic in nature. However, the columns in existing structures are seldom designed for impact due to inadequacies of design guidelines. The impact behaviour of columns designed for gravity loads and actions other than impact is, therefore, of an interest.

A comprehensive investigation is conducted on reinforced concrete column with a particular focus on investigating the vulnerability of the exposed columns and to implement mitigation techniques under low to medium velocity car and truck impacts. The investigation is based on non-linear explicit computer simulations of impacted columns followed by a comprehensive validation process. The impact is simulated using force pulses generated from full scale vehicle impact tests. A material model capable of simulating triaxial loading conditions is used in the analyses. Circular columns adequate in capacity for five to twenty story buildings, designed according to Australian standards are considered in the investigation. The crucial parameters associated with the routine column designs and the different load combinations applied at the serviceability stage on the typical columns are considered in detail.

Axially loaded columns are examined at the initial stage and the investigation is extended to analyse the impact behaviour under single axis bending and biaxial bending. The impact capacity reduction under varying axial loads is also investigated. Effects of the various load combinations are quantified and residual capacity of the impacted columns based on the status of the damage and mitigation techniques are also presented. In addition, the contribution of the individual parameter to the failure load is scrutinized and analytical equations are developed to identify the critical impulses in terms of the geometrical and material properties of the impacted column. In particular, an innovative technique was developed and introduced to improve the accuracy of the equations where the other techniques are failed due to the shape of the error distribution.

Above all, the equations can be used to quantify the critical impulse for three consecutive points (load combinations) located on the interaction diagram for one particular column. Consequently, linear interpolation can be used to quantify the critical impulse for the loading points that are located in-between on the interaction diagram. Having provided a known force and impulse pair for an average impact duration, this method can be extended to assess the vulnerability of columns for a general vehicle population based on an analytical method that can be used to quantify the critical peak forces under different impact durations. Therefore the contribution of this research is not only limited to produce simplified yet rational design guidelines and equations, but also provides a comprehensive solution to quantify the impact capacity while delivering new insight to the scientific community for dealing with impacts.

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ID Code: 43693
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Thambiratnam, David, Dhanasekar, Manicka, & Perera, Nimal
Keywords: dynamic analysis, numerical simulation, lateral impact, circular column, eccentric loading, bi-axial bending, residual capacity, analytical equations, vulnerability assessment
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Jul 2011 05:20
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2011 05:20

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