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Todd Pauly

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Nadim Wehbe


An experimental research study was conducted at South Dakota State University to evaluate the seismic performance of self-consolidating concrete (SCC) bridge columns. This study included literature review, experimental evaluation of concrete mixtures, experimental testing of reinforced concrete bridge columns under combined axial loading and lateral load reversals, and analytical evaluation of reinforced concrete bridge columns to validate experimental results. The experimental evaluation of concrete mixtures consisted of designing, batching, and testing multiple SCC and conventional concrete mixtures with compressive strengths of approximately 6, 6.5 and 7 ksi. Measured stress-strain relationships were obtained by testing standard 6 in. by 12 in. cylindrical SCC and conventional concrete specimens in uniaxial compression. Compared to conventional concrete of similar compressive strength, the measured SCC strains at strength were 18, 22, and 15 percent higher, the measured SCC ultimate strains were 13, 15, and 10 percent higher, and the measured SCC elastic moduli were 13, 17 and 14 percent lower. Additionally, SCC elastic moduli were 11, 7, and 9 percent lower than calculated concrete elastic moduli using ACI equations. The experimental evaluation of reinforced concrete bridge columns consisted of designing, fabricating, instrumenting, and testing four 12 in. square bridge column specimens. The four specimens had identical longitudinal and transverse steel reinforcement. Two of the specimens were constructed with SCC and two were constructed with conventional concrete. In each concrete group, the applied axial load was equivalent to 0.075f’cAg for Specimens CC1 and SCC1 and 0.15f’cAg for Specimens CC2 and SCC2. Lateral load reversals were applied to the specimens at successively increasing displacements until failure. The loading of Specimen SCC2 deviated from the planned loading protocol due to unintended reduction in the column’s flexural strength. The measured displacement ductility was 10.0, 8.9, 9.6, and 6.2 for Specimens CC1, CC2, SCC1, and SCC2, respectively. The measured lateral drifts were 7.7, 7.8, 8.5, and 5.9 percent for Specimens CC1, CC2, SCC1, and SCC2, respectively. Additionally, the absorbed energy was 1365, 1424, 1045, and 792 kip-in. for Specimens CC1, CC2, SCC1, and SCC2, respectively. An analytical study was completed to compare measured column response to calculated column response.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Self-consolidating concrete
Reinforced concrete construction
Concrete bridges
Columns. Concrete
Bridges -- Design and construction
Earthquake resistant design


Includes bibliographical references (pages 198-203)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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