Seismic fragility estimates for corroded reinforced concrete bridge structures with two-column bents
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To assess the losses associated with future earthquakes, seismic vulnerability functions are commonly used to correlate the damage or loss of a structure to the level of seismic intensity. A common procedure in seismic vulnerability assessment is to estimate the seismic fragility, which is defined as the conditional probability that a structure fails to meet the specific performance level for given level of seismic intensity. This dissertation proposes a methodology to estimate the fragility of corroded reinforced concrete (RC) bridges with two-column bents subject to seismic excitation. Seismic fragility functions are first developed for the RC bridges with two-column bents. All available information from science/engineering laws, numerical analysis, laboratory experiments, and field measurements has been used to construct the proper form of the fragility functions. The fragility functions are formulated, at the individual column, bent, and bridge levels, in terms of the spectral acceleration and the ratio between the peak ground velocity and the peak ground acceleration. The developed fragility functions properly account for the prevailing uncertainties in fragility estimation. The probabilistic capacity and demand models are then combined with the probabilistic models for chloride-induced corrosion and the time-dependent corrosion rate. The fragility estimates for corroded RC bridges incorporates the uncertainties in the parameters of capacity and demand models, and the inexactness (or model error) in modeling the material deterioration, structural capacity, and seismic demands. The proposed methodology is illustrated by developing the fragility functions for an example RC bridge with 11 two-column bents representing current construction in California. The developed fragility functions provide valuable information to allocate and spend available funds for the design, maintenance, and retrofitting of structures and networks. This study regarding the vulnerability of corroding RC bridges will be of direct value to those making decisions about the condition assessment, residual life, and the ability of lifeline structures to withstand future seismic demands.
Probabilistic demand models
Zhong, Jinquan (2008). Seismic fragility estimates for corroded reinforced concrete bridge structures with two-column bents. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from