Title: Seismic Behavior of Bridge Precast Columns with Grouted Rebar Couplers
Author(s): Arya Ebrahimpour and Barbara Earles
Publication: Symposium Paper
Appears on pages(s): 188-201
Keywords: bridge; column; precast; cast-in-place; grouted couplers; seismic response
Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technologies are being adopted by state transportation departments. One particular ABC technology is the use of precast concrete members joined with mechanical connectors. However, there are concerns about these connections in moderate-to-high seismic regions. A study was carried out for the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) on the seismic performance of precast columns with grouted couplers versus the conventional cast-in-place columns. Experimental data provided the necessary input to model the grouted couplers. Using the OpenSees finite element analysis program, selected bridges were subjected to the seismic conditions of the most seismically active location in Idaho. Under seismic conditions considered, the stresses in both the longitudinal reinforcing bars and the grouted coupler regions are found to be well within acceptable ranges. The study resulted in recommendations on allowable column drifts, a list of approved grouted rebar couplers, and typical detail drawings for inclusion in the ITD’s Bridge Manual.