Journal home Browse Latest articles

Latest articles

  • Select all
  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Plaban DEB, Sujit Kumar PAL
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0744-6

    In the recent era, piled raft foundation (PRF) has been considered an emergent technology for offshore and onshore structures. In previous studies, there is a lack of illustration regarding the load sharing and interaction behavior which are considered the main intents in the present study. Finite element (FE) models are prepared with various design variables in a double-layer soil system, and the load sharing and interaction factors of piled rafts are estimated. The obtained results are then checked statistically with nonlinear multiple regression (NMR) and artificial neural network (ANN) modeling, and some prediction models are proposed. ANN models are prepared with Levenberg–Marquardt (LM) algorithm for load sharing and interaction factors through backpropagation technique. The factor of safety (FS) of PRF is also estimated using the proposed NMR and ANN models, which can be used for developing the design strategy of PRF.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Xinzheng LU, Hong GUAN, Hailin SUN, Yi LI, Zhe ZHENG, Yifan FEI, Zhi YANG, Lingxiao ZUO
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0766-0

    On June 24, 2021, a 40-year-old reinforced concrete flat plate structure building in Miami suffered a sudden partial collapse. This study analyzed the overall performance and key components of the collapsed building based on the building design codes (ACI-318 and GB 50010). Punching shear and post-punching performances of typical slab-column joints are also studied through the refined finite element analysis. The collapse process was simulated and visualized using a physics engine. By way of these analyses, weak design points of the collapsed building are highlighted. The differences between the reinforcement detailing of the collapsed building and the requirements of the current Chinese code are discussed, together with a comparison of the punching shear and post-punching performances. The simulated collapse procedure and debris distribution are compared with the actual collapse scenes.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Ali AREFNIA, Ali DEHGHANBANADAKI, Khairul Anuar KASSIM
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0751-7

    This study investigated the use of recycled tire-derived aggregate (TDA) mixed with kaolin as a method of increasing the ultimate bearing capacity ( UBC) of a strip footing. Thirteen 1g physical modeling tests were prepared in a rigid box of 0.6 m × 0.9 m in plan and 0.6 m in height. During sample preparation, 0%, 20%, 40%, or 60% (by weight) of powdery, shredded, small-sized granular (G 1–4 mm) or large-sized granular (G 5–8 mm) TDA was mixed with the kaolin. A strip footing was then placed on the stabilized kaolin and was caused to fail under stress-controlled conditions to determine the UBC. A rigorous 3D finite element analysis was developed in Optum G-3 to determine the UBC values based on the experimental test results. The experimental results showed that, except for the 20% powdery TDA, the TDA showed an increase in the UBC of the strip footing. When kaolin mixed with 20% G (5–8 mm), the UBC showed a threefold increase over that for the unreinforced case. The test with 20% G (1–4 mm) recorded the highest subgrade modulus. It was observed that the UBC calculated using finite element modeling overestimated the experimental UBC by an average of 9%.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Hui ZHANG, Zhixiang ZHANG, Peiwei GAO, Lei CUI, Youqiang PAN, Kuan LI
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0759-z

    This research investigated a pavement system on steel bridge decks that use epoxy resin (EP) bonded ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC). Through FEM analysis and static and dynamic bending fatigue tests of the composite structure, the influences of the interface of the pavement layer, reinforcement, and different paving materials on the structural performance were compared and analyzed. The results show that the resin bonded UHPC pavement structure can reduce the weld strain in the steel plate by about 32% and the relative deflection between ribs by about 52% under standard axial load conditions compared to traditional pavements. The EP bonding layer can nearly double the drawing strength of the pavement interface from 1.3 MPa, and improve the bending resistance of the UHPC structure on steel bridge decks by about 50%; the bending resistance of reinforced UHPC structures is twice that of unreinforced UHPC structure, and the dynamic deflection of the UHPC pavement structure increases exponentially with increasing fatigue load. The fatigue life is about 1.2 × 107 cycles under a fixed force of 9 kN and a dynamic deflection of 0.35 mm, which meets the requirements for fatigue performance of pavements on steel bridge decks under traffic conditions of large flow and heavy load.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Junyong ZHOU, Colin C. CAPRANI
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0756-2

    Many bridge design specifications consider multi-lane factors (MLFs) a critical component of the traffic load model. Measured multi-lane traffic data generally exhibit significant lane disparities in traffic loads over multiple lanes. However, these disparities are not considered in current specifications. To address this drawback, a multi-coefficient MLF model was developed based on an improved probabilistic statistical approach that considers the presence of multiple trucks. The proposed MLF model and approach were calibrated and demonstrated through an example site. The model sensitivity analysis demonstrated the significant influence of lane disparity of truck traffic volume and truck weight distribution on the MLF. Using the proposed approach, the experimental site study yielded MLFs comparable with those directly calculated using traffic load effects. The exclusion of overloaded trucks caused the proposed approach, existing design specifications, and conventional approach of ignoring lane load disparity to generate comparable MLFs, while the MLFs based on the proposed approach were the most comprehensive. The inclusion of overloaded trucks caused the conventional approach and design specifications to overestimate the MLFs significantly. Finally, the benefits of the research results to bridge practitioners were discussed.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Wenwen ZHU, Xiamin HU, Jing ZHANG, Tao LI, Zeyu CHEN, Wei SHAO
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0755-3

    Magnesium phosphate cement (MPC) received increased attention in recent years, but MPC-based concrete is rarely reported. The micro-steel fibers (MSF) were added to MPC-based concrete to enhance its ductility due to the high brittleness in tensile and flexural strength properties of MPC. This paper investigates the effect of MSF volume fraction on the mechanical properties of a new pattern of MPC-based concrete. The temperature development curve, fluidity, cubic compressive strength, modulus of elastic, axial compressive strength, and four-point flexural strength were experimentally studied with 192 specimens, and a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) test was carried out after the specimens were failed. Based on the test results, the correlations between the cubic compressive strength and curing age, the axial and cubic compressive strength of MPC-based concrete were proposed. The results showed that with the increase of MSF volume fraction, the fluidity of fresh MPC-based concrete decreased gradually. MSF had no apparent influence on the compressive strength, while it enhanced the four-point flexural strength of MPC-based concrete. The four-point flexural strength of specimens with MSF volume fraction from 0.25% to 0.75% were 12.3%, 21.1%, 24.6% higher than that of the specimens without MSF, respectively.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Dajun YUAN, Weiping LUO, Dalong JIN, Ping LU
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0754-4

    This study aims to investigate hydrofracturing in double-layered soil through theoretical and experimental analysis, as multilayered soils where the difference in mechanical properties exists are generally encountered in practical engineering. First, an analytical solution for fracturing pressure in two different concentric regions of soil was presented based on the cavity expansion theory. Then, several triaxial hydraulic fracturing tests were carried out to validate the analytical solution. The comparison between the experimental and analytical results indicates the remarkable accuracy of the derived formula, and the following conclusions were also obtained. First, there is a linear relationship between the fracturing pressure and confining pressure in concentric double-layered cohesive soil. Second, when the internal-layer soil is softer than the external-layer soil, the presence of internal soil on the fracturing pressure approximately brings the weakening effect, and the greater strength distinction between the two layers, the greater the weakening effect. Third, when the internal-layer soil is harder than the external-layer soil, the existence of the internal-layer soil has a strengthening effect on the fracturing pressure regardless of the proportion of internal-layer soil. Moreover, the influence of strength distinction between the two layers on the fracturing pressure is significant when the proportion of internal-layer soil is less than half, while it’s limited when the proportion is more than half. The proposed solution is potentially useful for geotechnical problems involving aspects of cohesive soil layering in a composite formation.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Mohammad REZANEZHAD, Seyed Ahmad LAJEVARDI, Sadegh KARIMPOULI
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0750-8

    Crack growth modeling has always been one of the major challenges in fracture mechanics. Among all numerical methods, the extended finite element method (XFEM) has recently attracted much attention due to its ability to estimate the discontinuous deformation field. However, XFEM modeling does not directly lead to reliable results, and choosing a strategy of implementation is inevitable, especially in porous media. In this study, two prevalent XFEM strategies are evaluated: a) applying reduced Young’s modulus to pores and b) using different partitions to the model and enriching each part individually. We mention the advantages and limitations of each strategy via both analytical and experimental validations. Finally, the crack growth is modeled in a natural porous media (Fontainebleau sandstone). Our investigations proved that although both strategies can identically predict the stress distribution in the sample, the first strategy simulates only the initial crack propagation, while the second strategy could model multiple cracks growths. Both strategies are reliable and highly accurate in calculating the stress intensity factor, but the second strategy can compute a more reliable reaction force. Experimental tests showed that the second strategy is a more accurate strategy in predicting the preferred crack growth path and determining the maximum strength of the sample.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Khashayar JAFARI, Fatemeh HEIDARNEZHAD, Omid MOAMMER, Majid JARRAH
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0748-2

    Assessing the durability of concrete is of prime importance to provide an adequate service life and reduce the repairing cost of structures. Freeze–thaw is one such test that indicates the ability of concrete to last a long time without a significant loss in its performance. In this study, the freeze–thaw resistance of polymer concrete containing different polymer contents was explored and compared to various conventional cement concretes. Concretes’ fresh and hardened properties were assessed for their workability, air content, and compressive strength. The mass loss, length change, dynamic modulus of elasticity, and residual compressive strength were determined for all types of concretes subjected to freeze–thaw cycles according to ASTM C666-procedure A. Results showed that polymer concrete (PC) specimens prepared with higher dosages of polymer contents possessed better freeze–thaw durability compared to other specimens. This high durability performance of PCs is mainly due to their impermeable microstructures, absence of water in their structure, and the high bond strength between aggregates and a polymer binder. It is also indicated that the performance of high-strength concrete containing air-entraining admixture is comparable with PC having optimum polymer content in terms of residual compressive strength, dynamic modulus of elasticity, mass loss, and length change.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Iarley Loan Sampaio LIBOS, Liang CUI
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0741-9

    The understanding of compressive and tensile behaviors of polypropylene fiber-reinforced cemented paste backfill (FR-CPB) play crucial roles in the successful implementation of reinforcement technique in underground mine backfilling operations. However, very limited studies have been performed to gain insight into the evolution of compressive and tensile behaviors and associated mechanical properties of FR-CPB under various curing temperatures from early to advanced ages. Thus, this study aims to investigate the time (7, 28, and 90 d)- and temperature (20°C, 35°C, and 45°C)-dependence of constitutive behavior and mechanical properties of FR-CPB. The obtained results show that pre- and post-failure behaviors of FR-CPB demonstrate strongly curing temperature-dependence from early to advanced ages. Moreover, the pseudo-hardening behavior is sensitive to curing temperature, especially at early ages. Furthermore, the mechanical properties including elastic modulus, material stiffness, strengths, brittleness, cohesion, and internal friction angle of FR-CPB show increasing trends with curing temperature as curing time elapses. Additionally, a predictive model is developed to capture the strong correlation between compressive and tensile strength of FR-CPB. The findings of this study will contribute to the successful implementation of FR-CPB technology.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Fei ZHANG, Yuming ZHU, Yanbo CHEN, Shangchuan YANG
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0734-8

    Current design methods for the internal stability of geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) walls postulate seismic forces as inertial forces, leading to pseudo-static analyses based on active earth pressure theory, which yields unconservative reinforcement loads required for seismic stability. Most seismic analyses are limited to the determination of maximum reinforcement strength. This study aimed to calculate the distribution of the reinforcement load and connection strength required for each layer of the seismic GRS wall. Using the top-down procedure involves all of the possible failure surfaces for the seismic analyses of the GRS wall and then obtains the reinforcement load distribution for the limit state. The distributions are used to determine the required connection strength and to approximately assess the facing lateral deformation. For sufficient pullout resistance to be provided by each reinforcement, the maximum required tensile resistance is identical to the results based on the Mononobe–Okabe method. However, short reinforcement results in greater tensile resistances in the mid and lower layers as evinced by compound failure frequently occurring in GRS walls during an earthquake. Parametric studies involving backfill friction angle, reinforcement length, vertical seismic acceleration, and secondary reinforcement are conducted to investigate seismic impacts on the stability and lateral deformation of GRS walls.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Ahmet Talha GEZGIN, Behzad SOLTANBEIGI, Adlen ALTUNBAS, Ozer CINICIOGLU
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0738-4

    Retained backfill response to wall movement depends on factors that range from boundary conditions to the geometrical characteristic of individual particles. Hence, mechanical understanding of the problem warrants multi-scale analyses that investigate reciprocal relationships between macro and micro effects. Accordingly, this study attempts a multi-scale examination of failure evolution in cohesionless backfills. Therefore, the transition of retained backfills from at-rest condition to the active state is modeled using the discrete element method (DEM). DEM allows conducting virtual experiments, with which the variation of particle and boundary properties is straightforward. Hence, various modes of wall movement (translation and rotation) toward the active state are modeled using two different backfills with distinct particle shapes (spherical and nonspherical) under varying surcharge. For each model, cumulative rotations of single particles are tracked, and the results are used to analyze the evolution of shear bands and their geometric characteristics. Moreover, dependencies of lateral pressure coefficients and coordination numbers, as respective macro and micro behavior indicators, on particle shape, boundary conditions, and surcharge levels are investigated. Additionally, contact force networks are visually determined, and their influences on pressure distribution and deformation mechanisms are discussed with reference to the associated modes of wall movement and particle shapes.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Narges PAHNABI, Seyed Mohammad SEYEDPOOR
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0739-3

    Damage is defined as changes to the material and/or geometric properties of a structural system, comprising changes to the boundary conditions and system connectivity, adversely affecting the system’s performance. Inspecting the elements of structures, particularly critical components, is vital to evaluate the structural lifespan and safety. In this study, an optimization-based method for joint damage identification of moment frames using the time-domain responses is introduced. The beam-to-column connection in a metallic moment frame structure is modeled by a zero-length rotational spring at both ends of the beam element. For each connection, an end-fixity factor is specified, which changes between 0 and 1. Then, the problem of joint damage identification is converted to a standard optimization problem. An objective function is defined using the nodal point accelerations extracted from the damaged structure and an analytical model of the structure in which the nodal accelerations are obtained using the Newmark procedure. The optimization problem is solved by an improved differential evolution algorithm (IDEA) for identifying the location and severity of the damage. To assess the capability of the proposed method, two numerical examples via different damage scenarios are considered. Then, a comparison between the proposed method and the existing damage identification method is provided. The outcomes reveal the high efficiency of the proposed method for finding the severity and location of joint damage considering noise effects.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Mehdi JAVADI, Reza HASSANLI, Md Mizanur RAHMAN, Md Rajibul KARIM
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0737-5

    This paper reports on an experimental study on a new self-centring retaining wall system. Four post-tensioned segmental retaining walls (PSRWs) were experimentally tested. Each of the walls was constructed using seven T-shaped concrete segments with a dry stack. The walls were tested under incrementally increasing cyclic lateral load. The effect of the wall height, levels of post-tensioning (PT) force, and bonded versus unbonded condition of PT reinforcement on the structural behavior of the PSRWs was investigated. The results showed that such PSRWs are structurally adequate for water retaining structures. According to the results, increasing the wall height decreases initial strength but increases the deformation capacity of the wall. The larger deformation capacity and ductility of PSRW make it a suitable structural system for fluctuating loads or deformation, e.g., seawall. It was also found that increasing the PT force increases the wall’s stiffness; however, reduces its ductility. The residual drift and the extent of damage of the unbonded PSRWs were significantly smaller than those of the bonded ones. Results suggest that this newly developed self-centring retaining wall can be a suitable structural system to retain lateral loads. Due to its unique deformation capacity and self-centring behavior, it can potentially be used for seawall application.

  • RESEARCH ARTICLE
    Shan LIN, Hong ZHENG, Chao HAN, Bei HAN, Wei LI
    Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-021-0742-8

    In this paper, the machine learning (ML) model is built for slope stability evaluation and meets the high precision and rapidity requirements in slope engineering. Different ML methods for the factor of safety (FOS) prediction are studied and compared hoping to make the best use of the large variety of existing statistical and ML regression methods collected. The data set of this study includes six characteristics, namely unit weight, cohesion, internal friction angle, slope angle, slope height, and pore water pressure ratio. The whole ML model is primarily divided into data preprocessing, outlier processing, and model evaluation. In the data preprocessing, the duplicated data are first removed, then the outliers are filtered by the LocalOutlierFactor method and finally, the data are standardized. 11 ML methods are evaluated for their ability to learn the FOS based on different input parameter combinations. By analyzing the evaluation indicators R 2, MAE, and MSE of these methods, SVM, GBR, and Bagging are considered to be the best regression methods. The performance and reliability of the nonlinear regression method are slightly better than that of the linear regression method. Also, the SVM-poly method is used to analyze the susceptibility of slope parameters.