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Within the VAB research program, pseudodynamic tests on a large-scale model of an existing bridge were carried out in the reaction wall of the ELSA laboratory of the Joint Research Centre, applying the sub-structuring method. Asynchronous input motion, generated for the bridge site, was considered at the base of the piers and abutments. Non-linear sub-structuring was successfully implemented for the first time at world level by considering appropriate hysteretic models for the sub-structured piers.

Pre-test numerical calculations were carried out in order to define the simplest, yet accurate analytical models for the sub-structured piers. The results of the cyclic tests on large-scale specimens and refined analyses were used to calibrate the models for the numerical piers. The pseudodynamic test was simulated numerically and the results were compared to the experimental ones in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented sub-structured technique and adopted models.

Three pseudodynamic tests with increasing input intensity were carried out. For every earthquake amplitude the performance of the piers, in terms of drift and ductility demands, dissipated energy and degree of damage, was studied, along with the distribution of damage among the piers. On the basis of the experimental results and the observed damage level, the performance of the bridge was assessed for the earthquakes with different intensity.

Additional information

Authors: PINTO A ET AL, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen, European Laboratory for Structural Assessment (ELSA), Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 205225 EN (2002), pp.111. Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail:
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