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Seismic performance of bridge piers made of recycled concrete - an experimental study AL-Hawarneh, Maher Mohammed


Many of the civil infrastructure facilities in Canada have passed their service lives, and are structurally or functionally deficient. Some of these structures will need to be demolished and rebuilt. However, demolition will generate waste whereas new construction will require a huge amount of raw materials. Recycling of construction and demolition (C&D) wastes could be a sustainable solution as it will reduce the economic burden associated with concrete waste disposal, which increases the pressure on landfill capacity and the negative environmental impact. Reusing waste concrete as coarse aggregate, often termed as recycle coarse aggregate (RCA) in the construction industry could reduce the negative environmental impact associated with natural aggregate extraction and transportation. However, before this new recycled concrete is introduced in real life project, it is essential to investigate its properties and performance in structural elements. This study experimentally investigates the seismic performance of reinforced concrete bridge piers made of recycled coarse aggregate (RCA). The conducted test compares the performance of bridge piers made of 100% and 50% RCA with that of 100% natural coarse aggregate (NCA) bridge pier. The bridge under study is a major route bridge located in Vancouver area and is designed as per the Canadian standard. Then the specimen was scaled down to 1/3 of the original bridge pier. The scaled specimens had 300 mm diameter and 1730 mm height. The specimens were tested under quasi-static reverse cyclic loading. Each specimen was subjected to a combination of constant axial loading equal to 10% of its axial capacity and cyclic lateral loading developed by a computer controlled hydraulic actuator. Performance of recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) piers were compared in terms of lateral load capacity, drift, ductility, and energy dissipation capacity with those of conventional concrete pier. Results of this study showed that RAC specimens had improved ductility and lower residual displacements than the control specimen. Moreover, the energy dissipation capacity for 100% RCA specimen was about 11% higher than the control specimen. The results showed that RAC can be effectively used in structural elements in seismic regions.

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