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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 14 Issue 1

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Fused structures for safer and more economical constructions
Yu-Fei WU, Ying-Wu ZHOU, Biao HU, Xiaoxu HUANG, Scott SMITH
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 1-9.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1046KB)

Safety margin and construction costs are two conflicting goals for a structure. By providing a fuse in a structure that is triggered at a certain level of over-loading, further increase of loading is prohibited and failure of the structure is changed to a safer mode. As overloading is controlled and a safer failure mode is enforced, a fused structure requires a smaller safety factor thus leading to more economical construction without compromising safety. The use of a fuse will also facilitate safer use of advanced construction materials such as fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites. In this case, a fuse can transfer the sudden and dangerous failure mode associated with brittle FRP debonding or rupture to a safe and ductile failure mode at the fuse location. This paper introduces a new type of fused structure as well as an associated design philosophy and approach, in addition to examples of engineering applications.

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A numerical study of prestressed high strength steel tubular members
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 10-22.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1066KB)

The structural behavior of prestressed high strength steel (HSS) tubular members is investigated through the execution of advanced finite element modeling. Numerical models are developed and validated against published experimental data on HSS tubular members subjected to different levels of initial prestress and loaded either in tension or compression. The effect of the presence or absence of grouting on the strength and ductility of the members is also considered. To numerically replicate the structural response recorded in the tests, some key modeling features including the employed numerical solver, the adopted material models and the element types warrant careful consideration. Upon developing of the finite element models, the numerically generated ultimate loads, the corresponding failure modes and the full load-deformation curves are compared to the experimental ones, indicating a successful validation. As anticipated, prestressing enhances the load-bearing capacity for the tensile members, whereas it is detrimental for the compressive ones. A series of parametric studies is performed to assess the influence of key factors on the structural response of prestressed HSS members and the obtained results are discussed. Design guidance for tensile and compressive prestressed tubular members is also provided.

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Finding buckling points for nonlinear structures by dynamic relaxation scheme
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 23-61.
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Dynamic Relaxation Method (DRM) is an explicit approach for solving the simultaneous systems of equations. In this tactic, the fictitious mass and damping are added to the static governing equations, and an artificial dynamic system is constructed. By using DRM for nonlinear analysis, the structural static equilibrium path is obtained. This outcome is extremely valuable, since it leads to the behavior of structures. Among the finding related to the structural static path are the critical and buckling points for nonlinear structures. In this paper, a new way for calculating the load factor is proposed by setting the external work zero. Mixing the dynamic relaxation scheme with external work technique has not been formulated so far. In all incremental-iterative methods, the load factor increment sign should be determinated by extra calculations. This sign leads to increase or decrease of the load increment. It is worth emphasizing that sign of the load factor increment changes at the load limit points. Therefore, the sign determinations are required in the common work control methods. These disadvantages are eliminated in the proposed algorithm. In fact, the suggested load factor depends only on the Dynamic Relaxation (DR) fictitious parameters. Besides, all DR calculations are performed via vector operation. Moreover, the load factor is calculated only by one formula, and it has the same relation in the all solution processes. In contrast to the arc length techniques, which requires the sign determined, the proposed scheme does not need any sign finding. It is shown that author’s technique is quicker than the other dynamic relaxation strategies. To prove the capability and efficiency of the presented scheme, several numerical tests are performed. The results indicate that the suggested approach can trace the complex structural static paths, even in the snap-back and snap-through parts.

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Optimum lateral extent of soil domain for dynamic SSI analysis of RC framed buildings on pile foundations
Nishant SHARMA, Kaustubh DASGUPTA, Arindam DEY
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 62-81.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (5615KB)

This article describes a novel approach for deciding optimal horizontal extent of soil domain to be used for finite element based numerical dynamic soil structure interaction (SSI) studies. SSI model for a 12 storied building frame, supported on pile foundation-soil system, is developed in the finite element based software framework, OpenSEES. Three different structure-foundation configurations are analyzed under different ground motion characteristics. Lateral extent of soil domain, along with the soil properties, were varied exhaustively for a particular structural configuration. Based on the reduction in the variation of acceleration response at different locations in the SSI system (quantified by normalized root mean square error, NRMSE), the optimum lateral extent of the soil domain is prescribed for various structural widths, soil types and peak ground acceleration levels of ground motion. Compared to the past studies, error estimation analysis shows that the relationships prescribed in the present study are credible and more inclusive of the various factors that influence SSI. These relationships can be readily applied for deciding upon the lateral extent of the soil domain for conducting precise SSI analysis with reduced computational time.

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Comparative study on foundation treatment methods of immersed tunnels in China
Shaochun WANG, Xuehui ZHANG, Yun BAI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 82-93.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (3574KB)

Based on engineering practices of four typical traffic immersed tunnels built in China, this paper details the features of the four dominant foundation treatment methods for immersed tunnel construction: pile foundation, sand flow foundation, grouting foundation, and gravel bedding foundation. Subsoil stress time-history of different method are specified first, plus a summary of settlement assessment method for foundation quality control. Further, a comprehensive comparison of settlement and cost of these four foundation treatment methods is conducted to highlights the specific merits, disadvantages and conditions encountered in each foundation treatment method, based on real projects information. The findings of this article could henceforth be applied to foundation treatment work in immersed tube tunnel construction.

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Recent developments in the application of oil palm fibers in cement composites
Emmanuel Owoichoechi MOMOH, Adelaja Israel OSOFERO
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 94-108.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1733KB)

Fibers obtained from different parts of the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) have been under investigation for possible use in construction. Studies have been carried out investigating the engineering properties and possible applications of these fibers. However, the experimental methods employed and the values of mechanical and physical properties recorded by various authors are inconsistent. It has therefore become necessary to organize information which would be useful in the design of oil palm fiber cement composites and help researchers and engineers make informed decisions in further research and application. This review provides information about fibers from different parts of the oil palm, their properties, enhancement techniques, current and potential application in cement composites.

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Using thermodynamic parameters to study self-healing and interface properties of crumb rubber modified asphalt based on molecular dynamics simulation
Dongliang HU, Jianzhong PEI, Rui LI, Jiupeng ZHANG, Yanshun JIA, Zepeng FAN
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 109-122.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (3038KB)

The thermodynamic property of asphalt binder is changed by the addition of crumb rubber, which in turn influences the self-healing property as well as the cohesion and adhesion within the asphalt-aggregate system. This study investigated the self-healing and interface properties of crumb rubber modified asphalt (CRMA) using thermodynamic parameters based on the molecular simulation approach. The molecular models of CRMA were built with representative structures of the virgin asphalt and the crumb rubber. The aggregate was represented by SiO2 and Al2O3 crystals. The self-healing capability was evaluated with the thermodynamic parameter wetting time, work of cohesion and diffusivity. The interface properties were evaluated by characterizing the adhesion capability, the debonding potential and the moisture susceptibility of the asphalt-aggregate interface. The self-healing capability of CRMA is found to decrease as the rubber content increases. The asphalt-Al2O3 interface with higher rubber content has stronger adhesion and moisture stability. But the influence of crumb rubber on the interfacial properties of asphalt-SiO2 interface has no statistical significance. Comparing with the interfacial properties of the asphalt-SiO2 interface, the asphalt-Al2O3 interface is found to have a stronger adhesion but a worse moisture susceptibility for its enormous thermodynamic potential for water to displace the asphalt binder.

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Factor analysis for the statistical modeling of earthquake-induced landslides
Jeng-Wen LIN, Meng-Hsun HSIEH, Yu-Jen LI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 123-126.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (102KB)

Earthquake-induced landslides are difficult to assess and predict owing to the inherent unpredictability of earthquakes. In most existing studies, the landslide potential is statistically assessed by collecting and analyzing the data of historical landslide events and earthquake observation records. Unlike rainfall-induced landslides, earthquake-induced landslides cannot be predicted in advance using real-time monitoring systems, and the development of the models for these landslides should instead depend on early earthquake warnings and estimations. Hence, in this study, factor analysis was performed and the frequency distribution method was employed to investigate the potential risk of the landslides caused by earthquakes. Factors such as the slope gradient, lithology (geology), aspect, and elevation were selected and classified as influential factors to facilitate the construction of a landslide database for the area of study.

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Long-term effects of electrochemical realkalization on carbonated concrete
Peng ZHU, Ji ZHANG, Wenjun QU
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 127-137.
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The long-term effects of electrochemical realkalization on carbonated reinforced concrete with a W/C ratio of 0.65 were studied. Fourteen out of 16 carbonated specimens had been subjected to realkalization seven years ago, and the alkalinity of the concrete, the electrochemical characters (corrosion current density and potential) of the specimens and the corrosion conditions of the steel bars were examined. Results of different specimens and also at different time (4, 10, 13 months and 7 years after realkalization) were compared. According to the phenolphthalein and pH meter test, the alkalinity of the concrete had disappeared after seven years. Based on the potentiodynamic polarization test, various corrosion conditions had developed on the steel bars, which was verified by visual observation. All bars were in the depassivated state, and their corrosion current densities increased significantly after seven years. Cracks developed in some of the specimens, and the diverse compactness of concrete and excessive current of realkalization were considered to be possible causes. The effects of the realkalization treatment vanished after seven years.

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Innovative piled raft foundations design using artificial neural network
Meisam RABIEI, Asskar Janalizadeh CHOOBBASTI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 138-146.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1499KB)

Studying the piled raft behavior has been the subject of many types of research in the field of geotechnical engineering. Several studies have been conducted to understand the behavior of these types of foundations, which are often used for uniform loading on the raft and piles with the same length, while generally the transition load from the upper structure to the foundation is non-uniform and the choice of uniform length for piles in the above model will not be optimally economic and practical. The most common method in identifying the behavior of piled rafts is the use of theoretical relationships and software analyses. More precise identification of this type of foundation behavior can be very difficult due to several influential parameters and interaction of set behavior, and it will be done by doing time-consuming computer analyses or costly full-scale physical modeling. In the meantime, the technique of artificial neural networks can be used to achieve this goal with minimum time consumption, in which data from physical and numerical modeling can be used for network learning. One of the advantages of this method is the speed and simplicity of using it. In this paper, a model is presented based on multi-layer perceptron artificial neural network. In this model pile diameter, pile length, and pile spacing is considered as an input parameter that can be used to estimate maximum settlement, maximum differential settlement, and maximum raft moment. By this model, we can create an extensive domain of results for optimum system selection in the desired piled raft foundation. Results of neural network indicate its proper ability in identifying the piled raft behavior. The presented procedure provides an interesting solution and economically enhancing the design of the piled raft foundation system. This innovative design method reduces the time spent on software analyses.

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Investigating peak stresses in fitting and repair patches of buried polyethylene gas pipes
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 147-168.
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Nowadays, polyethylene composes a large number of natural gas distribution pipelines installed under the ground. The focus of the present contribution is two fold. One of the objectives is to investigate the applicability of polyethylene fittings in joining polyethylene gas pipes which are electrofused onto the pipe ends and buried under the ground, by estimating stress distribution using finite element method. The second objective is to study the effectiveness of polyethylene repair patches which are used to mend the defected pipelines by performing a finite element analysis to calculate peak stress values. Buried polyethylene pipelines in the natural gas industry, can be imposed by sever loadings including the soil-structure interaction, traffic load, soil’s column weight, internal pressure, and thermal loads resulting from daily and/or seasonal temperature changes. Additionally, due to the application of pipe joints, and repair patches local stresses superimposed on the aforementioned loading effects. The pipe is assumed to be made of PE80 resin and its jointing socket, and the repair patch is PE100 material. The computational analysis of stresses and the computer simulations are performed using ANSYS commercial software. According to the results, the peak stress values take place in the middle of the fitting and at its internal surface. The maximum stress values in fitting and pipe are below the allowable stresses which shows the proper use of introduced fitting is applicable even in hot climate areas of Ahvaz, Iran. Although the buried pipe is imposed to the maximum values of stresses, the PE100 socket is more sensitive to a temperature drop. Furthermore, all four studied patch arrangements show significant reinforcing effects on the defected section of the buried PE gas pipe to transfer applied loads. Meanwhile, the defected buried medium density polyethylene gas pipe and its saddle fused patch can resist the imposed mechanical and thermal loads of 22°C temperature increase. Moreover, increasing the saddle fusion patch length to 12 inches reduces the maximum stress values in the pipe, significantly.

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Pretest analysis of shake table response of a two-span steel girder bridge incorporating accelerated bridge construction connections
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 169-184.
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This paper presents pretest analysis of a shake table test model of a 0.35-scale, two-span, steel plate girder bridge. The objective of pretest analysis was to obtain an insight on the seismic response of the bridge model during the shake table tests. The bridge included seat type abutments, full-depth precast deck panels, and a two-column bent in which columns were pinned to the footing and integral with superstructure. Six accelerated bridge construction connections were incorporated in the bridge model. An analytical model was developed in OpenSees and was subjected to ten input bi-directional earthquake motions including near-fault and far-field records. The overall seismic response of the bridge was satisfactory for all the earthquake records at 100%, 150%, and 200% design level. All connections and capacity-protected components remained elastic, and the average ductility capacity surpassed the ductility demand even at 200% design level. Using experimental fragility curves developed for RC bridge columns, it was predicted that there was a probability of 45% that columns would undergo the imminent failure in the last run and a probability of 30% for their failure.

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SPT based determination of undrained shear strength: Regression models and machine learning
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 185-198.
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The purpose of this study is the accurate prediction of undrained shear strength using Standard Penetration Test results and soil consistency indices, such as water content and Atterberg limits. With this study, along with the conventional methods of simple and multiple linear regression models, three machine learning algorithms, random forest, gradient boosting and stacked models, are developed for prediction of undrained shear strength. These models are employed on a relatively large data set from different projects around Turkey covering 230 observations. As an improvement over the available studies in literature, this study utilizes correct statistical analyses techniques on a relatively large database, such as using a train/test split on the data set to avoid overfitting of the developed models. Furthermore, the validity and consistency of the prediction results are ensured with the correct use of statistical measures like p-value and cross-validation which were missing in previous studies. To compare the performances of the models developed in this study with the prior ones existing in literature, all models were applied on the test data set and their performances are evaluated in terms of the resulting root mean squared error (RMSE) values and coefficient of determination (R2). Accordingly, the models developed in this study demonstrate superior prediction capabilities compared to all of the prior studies. Moreover, to facilitate the use of machine learning algorithms for prediction purposes, entire source code prepared for this study and the collected data set are provided as supplements of this study.

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Investigation of fatigue resistance of fillet-welded tube connection details for sign support structures
Hyungjoo CHOI, Husam NAJM
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 199-214.
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Stiffened and unstiffened fillet-welded tube-to-transverse plate connection details are widely used for mast-arm and base-plate connections for highway sign structures. However, due to repetitive wind loads, cyclic fatigue stresses are induced and they are the primary source of failure in welded connections at these locations. The resistance of fatigue critical details has been an on-going research topic because of limited experimental results and the variability in existing fatigue testing results. The main objective of this study is to evaluate fatigue resistance of fillet-welded tube connection details by utilizing the advanced fatigue tool in ANSYS Workbench platform. Finite Element (FE) models development and model validation using existing test data was presented. The resulting fatigue resistance from FE analysis was expressed in terms of fatigue life, fatigue damage, and fatigue safety factor to determine the fatigue performance of fillet-welded connections. Existing fatigue test data was grouped to perform a synthetic analysis and then analysis results were provided to determine input data and fatigue limit for the fatigue module. The local stress level at fatigue critical locations was evaluated using a static FE model for different number of stiffeners and boundary conditions. The results of this investigation provides fatigue resistance of fillet-welded connection details in the form of fatigue life, fatigue damage and safety factor for various connection parameters and structural conditions.

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Simulation of cohesive crack growth by a variable-node XFEM
Weihua FANG, Jiangfei WU, Tiantang YU, Thanh-Tung NGUYEN, Tinh Quoc BUI
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 215-228.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2157KB)

A new computational approach that combines the extended finite element method associated with variable-node elements and cohesive zone model is developed. By using a new enriched technique based on sign function, the proposed model using 4-node quadrilateral elements can eliminate the blending element problem. It also allows modeling the equal stresses at both sides of the crack in the crack-tip as assumed in the cohesive model, and is able to simulate the arbitrary crack-tip location. The multiscale mesh technique associated with variable-node elements and the arc-length method further improve the efficiency of the developed approach. The performance and accuracy of the present approach are illustrated through numerical experiments considering both mode-I and mixed-mode fracture in concrete.

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Experimental investigation on mechanical properties of binary and ternary blended pervious concrete
Rekha SINGH, Sanjay GOEL
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 229-240.
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1378KB)

The purpose of the investigation was to study the effect of binary and ternary blends of cement on the mechanical properties of pervious concrete (PC) specimen through destructive (DT) and non-destructive testing (NDT). Various combinations of fly ash (FA), limestone powder (LP), metakaolin (MK), and silica fume (SF) as mineral admixtures have been investigated to partially replace the cement up to 30% by weight in PC. Standard cube specimens of size 150 mm × 150 mm × 150 mm of binary and ternary blends of mineral admixture of pervious concrete were prepared to conduct standard compressive strength test and split tensile test at 7 and 28 days of curing. The ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) test and Rebound Hammer test were used as a non-destructive testing tool to substantiate the robustness of PC and to determine the approximate mechanical properties where other destructive testing tools are not feasible in case of in-place pervious pavements. Overall the pervious concrete made with LP based ternary blends (PLM and PLS) were found to perform better than FA based ternary blends (PFM and PFS) and control mix (PC) in destructive and non-destructive testing.

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Seismic fragility assessment of revised MRT buildings considering typical construction changes
Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.. 2020, 14 (1): 241-266.
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The present study investigates the vulnerability assessment of the prototype revised Mandatory Rule of Thumb (MRT) buildings initially designed and detailed for three storeys bare frame building; later modified through variable number of storeys (three, four, and five) and different arrangement of infill walls (bare frame, soft-storey, irregular infilled, and fully infilled). The application of infill walls increases the fundamental frequencies, stiffness, and maximum strength capacity, but reduces the deformation capability than the bare frame building. The vulnerability was also reduced through infill walls, where the probability of exceeding partial-collapse and collapse damage reduced by 80% and 50%, respectively. Furthermore, the increased in storeys (three to five) also increases the failure probability, such that partial-collapse and collapse for fully infilled increases by almost 55% and 80%, respectively. All obtained results and discussions concluded that the structural sections and details assigned for MRT building is not sufficient if considered as bare frame and soft-storey. And increase in number of storeys causes building highly vulnerable although the infill walls were considered.

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17 articles