A New Pile-Deck Connection for Seismic Performance Enhancement of Marginal Wharves


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Title: A New Pile-Deck Connection for Seismic Performance Enhancement of Marginal Wharves

Author(s): Dawn Lehman and Charles Roeder

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 295


Appears on pages(s): 1-22

Keywords: Connections; precast piles; marginal wharves; seismic evaluation; performance-based seismic design; seismic design; debonded dowels.

Date: 10/4/2013

Pile-supported marginal wharves are a critical component of port infrastructure. A primary region of post-earthquake structural damage is the connection between the pile and the wharf deck. Review of prior experimental studies into state-of-the-practice connections indicates these can sustain cyclic deformation demand but at the cost of deterioration in resistance and significant damage. Damage within the connection is difficult to access and its repair is costly. Therefore, there is an interest in reducing the damage under moderate levels of seismic demand while sustaining the capacity under large cyclic drifts. An experimental study was undertaken to investigate mechanisms to limit damage while maximizing strength and deformation capacities of precast piles and their connections. Several structural concepts were investigated including (1) intentional debonding of the headed reinforcing bars, (2) supplemental rotation capacity through the addition of a cotton duck bearing pad above the head of the precast pile and (3) supplemental material to sustain the lateral deformations while minimizing deck damage. The final design incorporated all of these concepts. The results show significantly reduced damage. A design method is proposed to facilitate adoption of the proposed connection design in structural engineering practice. A comparison with other connection designs is made via fragility functions to assess their seismic performance.