Overturning of precast RC columns in conditions of moderate ground shaking

  • Kafle, Bidur (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne) ;
  • Lam, Nelson T.K. (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne) ;
  • Lumantarna, Elisa (Department of Infrastructure Engineering, University of Melbourne) ;
  • Gad, Emad F. (Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology) ;
  • Wilson, John L. (Faculty of Engineering and Industrial Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology)
  • Received : 2013.12.22
  • Accepted : 2014.07.11
  • Published : 2015.01.25


A simple method of assessing the risk of overturning of precast reinforced concrete columns is presented in this paper. The displacement-based methodology introduced herein is distinguished from conventional force-based codified methods of aseismic design of structures. As evidenced by results from field tests precast reinforced concrete columns can be displaced to a generous limit without sustaining damage and then fully recover from most of the displacement afterwards. Realistic predictions of the displacement demand of such (rocking) system in conjunction with the displacement capacity estimates enable fragility curves for overturning to be constructed. The interesting observation from the developed fragility curves is that the probability of failure of the precast soft-storey column decreases with increasing size of the column importantly illustrating the "size effect" phenomenon.


rocking;risk of overturning;shake table;fragility curves;risk of failure


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