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Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering

ISSN 2095-2430 (Print)
ISSN 2095-2449 (Online)
CN 10-1023/X
Postal Subscription Code 80-968
2019 Impact Factor: 1.68

, Volume 13 Issue 5

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Risk-based probabilistic thermal-stress analysis of concrete arch dams
Narjes SOLTANI, Mohammad ALEMBAGHERI, Mohammad Houshmand KHANEGHAHI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1007-1019.
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The probabilistic risk of arch dam failure under thermal loading is studied. The incorporated uncertainties, which are defined as random variables, are associated with the most affecting structural (material) properties of concrete and thermal loading conditions. Karaj arch dam is selected as case study. The dam is numerically modeled along with its foundation in three-dimensional space; the temperature and thermal stress distribution is investigated during the operating phase. The deterministic thermal finite element analysis of the dam is combined with the structural reliability methods in order to obtain thermal response predictions, and estimate the probability of failure in the risk analysis context. The tensile overstressing failure mode is considered for the reliability analysis. The thermal loading includes ambient air and reservoir temperature variations. The effect of solar radiation is considered by an increase in the ambient temperatures. Three reliability methods are employed: the first-order second-moment method, the first-order reliability method, and the Monte-Carlo simulation with Latin Hypercube sampling. The estimated failure probabilities are discussed and the sensitivity of random variables is investigated. Although most of the studies in this line of research are used only for academic purposes, the results of this investigation can be used for both academic and engineering purposes.

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Parametric study of hexagonal castellated beams in post-tensioned self-centering steel connections
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1020-1035.
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The effects of important parameters (beam reinforcing plates, initial post-tensioning, and material properties of steel angles) on the behavior of hexagonal castellated beams in post-tensioned self-centering (PTSC) connections undergone cyclic loading up to 4% lateral drift have been investigated by finite element (FE) analysis using ABAQUS. The PTSC connection is comprised of bolted top and bottom angles as energy dissipaters and steel strands to provide self-centering capacity. The FE analysis has also been validated against the experimental test. The new formulations derived from analytical method has been proposed to predict bending moment of PTSC connections. The web-post buckling in hexagonal castellated beams has been identified as the dominant failure mode when excessive initial post-tensioning force is applied to reach greater bending moment resistance, so it is required to limit the highest initial post-tensioning force to prevent this failure. Furthermore, properties of steel material has been simulated using bilinear elastoplastic modeling with 1.5% strain-hardening which has perfectly matched with the real material of steel angles. It is recommended to avoid using steel angles with high yielding strength since they lead to the yielding of bolt shank. The necessity of reinforcing plates to prevent beam flange from local buckling has been reaffirmed.

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Rotation errors in numerical manifold method and a correction based on large deformation theory
Ning ZHANG, Xu LI, Qinghui JIANG, Xingchao LIN
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1036-1053.
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Numerical manifold method (NMM) is an effective method for simulating block system, however, significant errors are found in its simulation of rotation problems. Three kinds of errors, as volume expansion, stress vibration, and attenuation of angular velocity, were observed in the original NMM. The first two kind errors are owing to the small deformation assumption and the last one is due to the numerical damping. A large deformation NMM is proposed based on large deformation theory. In this method, the governing equation is derived using Green strain, the large deformation iteration and the open-close iteration are combined, and an updating strategy is proposed. The proposed method is used to analyze block rotation, beam bending, and rock falling problems and the results prove that all three kinds of errors are eliminated in this method.

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Adaptive simulation of wave propagation problems including dislocation sources and random media
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1054-1081.
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An adaptive Tikhonov regularization is integrated with an h-adaptive grid-based scheme for simulation of elastodynamic problems, involving seismic sources with discontinuous solutions and random media. The Tikhonov method is adapted by a newly-proposed detector based on the MINMOD limiters and the grids are adapted by the multiresolution analysis (MRA) via interpolation wavelets. Hence, both small and large magnitude physical waves are preserved by the adaptive estimations on non-uniform grids. Due to developing of non-dissipative spurious oscillations, numerical stability is guaranteed by the Tikhonov regularization acting as a post-processor on irregular grids. To preserve waves of small magnitudes, an adaptive regularization is utilized: using of smaller amount of smoothing for small magnitude waves. This adaptive smoothing guarantees also solution stability without over smoothing phenomenon in stochastic media. Proper distinguishing between noise and small physical waves are challenging due to existence of spurious oscillations in numerical simulations. This identification is performed in this study by the MINMOD limiter based algorithm. Finally, efficiency of the proposed concept is verified by: 1) three benchmarks of one-dimensional (1-D) wave propagation problems; 2) P-SV point sources and rupturing line-source including a bounded fault zone with stochastic material properties.

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Variational mode decomposition based modal parameter identification in civil engineering
Mingjie ZHANG, Fuyou XU
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1082-1094.
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An out-put only modal parameter identification method based on variational mode decomposition (VMD) is developed for civil structure identifications. The recently developed VMD technique is utilized to decompose the free decay response (FDR) of a structure into to modal responses. A novel procedure is developed to calculate the instantaneous modal frequencies and instantaneous modal damping ratios. The proposed identification method can straightforwardly extract the mode shape vectors using the modal responses extracted from the FDRs at all available sensors on the structure. A series of numerical and experimental case studies are conducted to demonstrate the efficiency and highlight the superiority of the proposed method in modal parameter identification using both free vibration and ambient vibration data. The results of the present method are compared with those of the empirical mode decomposition-based method, and the superiorities of the present method are verified. The proposed method is proved to be efficient and accurate in modal parameter identification for both linear and nonlinear civil structures, including structures with closely spaced modes, sudden modal parameter variation, and amplitude-dependent modal parameters, etc.

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Finite element analysis on the seismic behavior of side joint of Prefabricated Cage System in prefabricated concrete frame
Yunlin LIU, Shitao ZHU
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1095-1104.
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The Prefabricated Cage System (PCS) has the advantages of high bearing capacity and good ductility. Meanwhile, it is convenient for factory production and it is beneficial to the cost savings, construction period shortening. Side joint is the weak region of PCS concrete frame and has great influence on seismic behavior of the whole structure. Thus systematically study on the seismic behavior of PCS concrete side joint is necessary. This paper presents a finite element study on behavior of the side joint under seismic loading. In the finite element model, PCS concrete and the reinforced concrete (RC) is modeled by the solid element and fiber-beam element, respectively. The numerical results is compared with the experimental results and it is found that the results of model based on fiber-beam element is in better agreement with the experimental results than solid element model. In addition, the overall seismic behavior of the side joints in PCS concrete is better than that of the RC with the same strength.

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Improvement of mechanical behavior of buried pipelines subjected to strike-slip faulting using textured pipeline
Mahdi IZADI, Khosrow BARGI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1105-1119.
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The present study investigates the mechanical behavior of a new generation of buried pipelines, dubbed the textured pipeline, which is subjected to strike-slip faulting. In conventional cylindrical pipelines, the axial and bending stresses brought about in their walls as a result of fault movement, lead to local buckling, which is construed as one of the major reasons contributing to pipeline failure. The present study has assessed 3-D numerical models of two kinds of buried textured pipelines, with 6 and 12 peripheral triangular facets, subjected to a strike-slip faulting normal to the axis of the pipelines, with and without internal pressure, with the two kinds of X65 and X80 steel, and with different diameter-to-thickness ratios. The results indicate that, because of specific geometry of this pipeline shell which is characterized by having lower axial stiffness and higher bending stiffness, compared to conventional cylindrical pipeline, they are considerably resistant to local buckling. The results of this study can be conceived of as a first step toward comprehensive seismic studies on this generation of pipelines which aim at replacing the conventional cylindrical pipelines with textured ones in areas subjected to fault movement.

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An investigation of ballistic response of reinforced and sandwich concrete panels using computational techniques
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1120-1137.
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Structural performance of nuclear containment structures and power plant facilities is of critical importance for public safety. The performance of concrete in a high-speed hard projectile impact is a complex problem due to a combination of multiple failure modes including brittle tensile fracture, crushing, and spalling. In this study, reinforced concrete (RC) and steel-concrete-steel sandwich (SCSS) panels are investigated under high-speed hard projectile impact. Two modeling techniques, smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) and conventional finite element (FE) analysis with element erosion are used. Penetration depth and global deformation are compared between doubly RC and SCSS panels in order to identify the advantages of the presence of steel plates over the reinforcement layers. A parametric analysis of the front and rear plate thicknesses of the SCSS configuration showed that the SCSS panel with a thick front plate has the best performance in controlling the hard projectile. While a thick rear plate is effective in the case of a large and soft projectile as the plate reduces the rear deformation. The effects of the impact angle and impact velocity are also considered. It was observed that the impact angle for the flat nose missile is critical and the front steel plate is effective in minimizing penetration depth.

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Behavior and strength of headed stud shear connectors in ultra-high performance concrete of composite bridges
Jianan QI, Yuqing HU, Jingquan WANG, Wenchao LI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1138-1149.
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This study presents an experimental and numerical investigation on the static behavior of headed stud shear connectors in ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) of composite bridges. Four push-out specimens were tested. It was found that no cracking, crushing or splitting was observed on the concrete slab, indicating that UHPC slab exhibited good performance and could resist the high force transferred from the headed studs. The numerical and experimental results indicated that the shear capacity is supposed to be composed of two parts stud shank shear contribution and concrete wedge block shear contribution. The stiffness increment of a stud in UHPC was at least 60% higher than that in normal strength concrete. Even if the stud height was reduced from 6d to 2d, there was no reduction in the shear strength of a stud. Short stud shear connectors with an aspect ratio as small as 2 could develop full strength in UHPC slabs. An empirical load-slip equation taking into account stud diameter was proposed to predict the load-slip response of a stud. The reliability and accuracy of the proposed load-slip equation was verified by the experimental and numerical load-slip curves.

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Optimal dome design considering member-related design constraints
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1150-1170.
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This study proposes to optimize the design of geometrically nonlinear dome structures. A new Multi-objective Optimization Algorithm named Pareto Archived Genetic Algorithm (PAGA), which has an ability of integrating the nonlinear structural analysis with the provisions of American Petroleum Institute specification is employed to optimize the design of ellipse and sphere-shaped dome configurations. Thus, it is possible to investigate how the qualities of optimal designations vary considering the shape, size, and topology-related design variables. Furthermore, the computing efficiency of PAGA is evaluated considering six multi-objective optimization algorithms and eight quality measuring indicators. It is shown that PAGA has a capability of both exploring an increased number of pareto solutions and predicting a pareto front with a higher convergence degree. Moreover, the inclusion of shape-related design variables leads to a decrease in both the weights of dome structures and their load-carrying capacities. However, the designer easily determines the most requested optimal design through the archiving feature of PAGA. Thus, it is also demonstrated that the proposed optimal design procedure increases the correctness degree in the evaluation of optimal dome designs through the tradeoff analysis. Consequently, PAGA is recommended as an optimization tool for the design optimization of geometrically nonlinear dome structures.

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Neural network control for earthquake structural vibration reduction using MRD
Khaled ZIZOUNI, Leyla FALI, Younes SADEK, Ismail Khalil BOUSSERHANE
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1171-1182.
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Structural safety of building particularly that are intended for exposure to strong earthquake loads are designed and equipped with high technologies of control to ensure as possible as its protection against this brutal load. One of these technologies used in the protection of structures is the semi-active control using a Magneto Rheological Damper device. But this device need an adequate controller with a robust algorithm of current or tension adjustment to operate which is further discussed in the following of this paper. In this study, a neural network controller is proposed to control the MR damper to eliminate vibrations of 3-story scaled structure exposed to Tōhoku 2011 and Boumerdès 2003 earthquakes. The proposed controller is derived from a linear quadratic controller designed to control an MR damper installed in the first floor of the structure. Equipped with a feedback law the proposed control is coupled to a clipped optimal algorithm to adapt the current tension required to the MR damper adjustment. To evaluate the performance control of the proposed design controller, two numerical simulations of the controlled structure and uncontrolled structure are illustrated and compared.

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Deformation field and crack analyses of concrete using digital image correlation method
Yijie HUANG, Xujia HE, Qing WANG, Jianzhuang XIAO
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1183-1199.
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The study on the deformation distribution and crack propagation of concrete under axial compression was conducted by the digital image correlation (DIC) method. The main parameter in this test is the water-cement (W/C) ratio. The novel analysis process and numerical program for DIC method were established. The displacements and strains of coarse aggregate, and cement mortar and interface transition zone (ITZ) were obtained and verified by experimental results. It was found that the axial displacement distributed non-uniformly during the loading stage, and the axial displacements of ITZs and cement mortar were larger than that of coarse aggregates before the occurrence of macro-cracks. The effect of W/C on the horizontal displacement was not obvious. Test results also showed that the transverse and shear deformation concentration areas (DCAs) were formed when stress reached 30%–40% of the peak stress. The transverse and shear DCAs crossed the cement mortar, and ITZs and coarse aggregates. However, the axial DCA mainly surrounded the coarse aggregate. Generally, the higher W/C was, the more size and number of DCAs were. The crack propagations of specimens varied with the variation of W/C. The micro-crack of concrete mainly initiated in the ITZs, irrespective of the W/C. The number and distribution range of cracks in concrete with high W/C were larger than those of cracks in specimen adopting low W/C. However, the value and width of cracks in high W/C specimen were relatively small. The W/C had an obvious effect on the characteristics of concrete deterioration. Finally, the characteristics of crack was also evaluated by comparing the calculated results.

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The influence of hand hole on the ultimate strength and crack pattern of shield tunnel segment joints by scaled model test
Shaochun WANG, Xi JIANG, Yun BAI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1200-1213.
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With the shield tunnel going deeper and deeper, the circumferential axial force becomes the governing factor rather than the bending moment. The hand hole acts as a weak point and initial damage in the segment joint especially when the circumferential axial force is extremely high. Despite the wide application of steel fiber or synthetic fiber in the tunneling, limited researches focus on the structural responses of segment joint with macro structural synthetic fiber (MSSF). In this paper, a 1:2 reduced-scale experiment was conducted to study the structural performance of the segment joint with different types of hand holes under ultra-high axial force. Special attention is paid to failure mode and structural performance (bearing capacity, deformation, cracking, and toughness). Moreover, segment joints with MSSF are also tested to evaluate the effects of MSSF on the failure mode and structural performance of the segment joints. The experiment results show that the hand hole becomes the weakest point of the segment joint under ultra-high axial force. A \ /-type crack pattern is always observed before the final failure of the segment joints. Different types and sizes of the hand hole have different degree of influences on the structural behavior of segment joints. The segment joint with MSSF shows higher ultimate bearing capacity and toughness compared to segment joint with common concrete. Besides, the MSSF improves the initial cracking load and anti-spallling resistance of the segment joint.

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Parametric computational study on butterfly-shaped hysteretic dampers
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1214-1226.
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A parametric computational study is conducted to investigate the shear yielding, flexural yielding, and lateral torsional buckling limit states for butterfly-shaped links. After validating the accuracy of the finite element modeling approach against previous experiments, 112 computational models with different geometrical properties were constructed and analyzed including consideration of initial imperfections. The resulting yielding moment, corresponding critical shear force, the accumulation of plastic strains through the length of links as well as the amount of energy dissipated are investigated. ‚€ƒThe results indicate that as the shape of the butterfly-shaped links become too straight or conversely too narrow in the middle, peak accumulated plastic strains increase. The significant effect of plate thickness on the buckling limit state is examined in this study. Results show that overstrength for these links (peak force divided by yield force) is between 1.2 and 4.5, with straight links producing larger overstrength. Additionally, proportioning the links to delay buckling, and designing the links to yield in the flexural mode are shown to improve energy dissipation.

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Finite element modeling of cable sliding and its effect on dynamic response of cable-supported truss
Yujie YU, Zhihua CHEN, Renzhang YAN
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1227-1242.
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The cable system of cable-supported structures usually bears high tension forces, and clip joints may fail to resist cable sliding in cases of earthquake excitations or sudden cable breaks. A analytical method that considers the dynamic cable sliding effect is proposed in this paper. Cable sliding behaviors and the resultant dynamic responses are solved by combining the vector form intrinsic finite element framework with cable force redistribution calculations that consider joint frictions. The cable sliding effect and the frictional tension loss are solved with the original length method that uses cable length and the original length relations. Then, the balanced tension distributions are calculated after frictional sliding. The proposed analytical method is achieved within MATLAB and applied to simulate the dynamic response of a cable-supported plane truss under seismic excitation and sudden cable break. During seismic excitations, the cable sliding behavior in the cable-supported truss have an averaging effect on the oscillation magnitudes, but it also magnifies the internal force response in the upper truss structure. The slidable cable joints can greatly reduce the ability of a cable system to resist sudden cable breaks, while strong friction resistances at the cable-strut joints can help retain internal forces.

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Finite element analysis of controlled low strength materials
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1243-1250.
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Controlled low strength materials (CLSM) are flowable and self-compacting construction materials that have been used in a wide variety of applications. This paper describes the numerical modeling of CLSM fills with finite element method under compression loading and the bond performance of CLSM and steel rebar under pullout loading. The study was conducted using a plastic-damage model which captures the material behavior using both classical theory of elasto-plasticity and continuum damage mechanics. The capability of the finite element approach for the analysis of CLSM fills was assessed by a comparison with the experimental results from a laboratory compression test on CLSM cylinders and pullout tests. The analysis shows that the behavior of a CLSM fill while subject to a failure compression load or pullout tension load can be simulated in a reasonably accurate manner.

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Enhanced empirical models for predicting the drift capacity of less ductile RC columns with flexural, shear, or axial failure modes
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1251-1270.
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Capacity of components subjected to earthquake actions is still a widely interesting research topic. Hence, developing precise tools for predicting drift capacities of reinforced concrete (RC) columns is of great interest. RC columns are not only frequently constructed, but also their composite behavior makes the capacity prediction a task faced with many uncertainties. In the current article, novel empirical approaches are presented for predicting flexural, shear and axial failure modes in RC columns. To this aim, an extensive experimental database was created by collecting outcomes of previously conducted experimental tests since 1964, which are available in the literature. It serves as the basis for deriving the equations for predicting the drift capacity of RC columns by different regression analyses (both linear with different orders and nonlinear). Furthermore, fragility curves are determined for comparing the obtained results with the experimental results and with previously proposed models, like the ones of ASCE/SEI 41-13. It is demonstrated that the proposed equations predict drift capacities, which are in better agreement with experimental results than those computed by previously published models. In addition, the reliability of the proposed equations is higher from a probabilistic point of view.

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Experimental study on flexural behavior of ECC/RC composite beams with U-shaped ECC permanent formwork
Zhi QIAO, Zuanfeng PAN, Weichen XUE, Shaoping MENG
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2019, 13 (5): 1271-1287.
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To enhance the durability of a reinforced concrete structure, engineered cementitious composite (ECC), which exhibits high tensile ductility and good crack control ability, is considered a promising alternative to conventional concrete. However, broad application of ECC is hindered by its high cost. This paper presents a new means to address this issue by introducing a composite beam with a U-shaped ECC permanent formwork and infill concrete. The flexural performance of the ECC/RC composite beam has been investigated experimentally with eight specimens. According to the test results, the failure of a composite beam with a U-shaped ECC formwork is initiated by the crushing of compressive concrete rather than debonding, even if the surface between the ECC and the concrete is smooth as-finished. Under the same reinforcement configurations, ECC/RC composite beams exhibit increases in flexural performance in terms of ductility, load-carrying capacity, and damage tolerance compared with the counterpart ordinary RC beam. Furthermore, a theoretical model based on the strip method is proposed to predict the moment-curvature responses of ECC/RC composite beams, and a simplified method based on the equivalent rectangular stress distribution approach has also evolved. The theoretical results are found to be in good agreement with the test data.

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18 articles