Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Civil and Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mostafa Tazarv


Mechanical bar splices provide an alternative to the traditional method of lap splicing to achieve reinforcement bar continuity in reinforced concrete. Even though mechanical bar splices can be used as new precast column connections to accelerate the bridge construction (ABC), The use of bar couplers in the plastic hinge region of bridge columns is prohibited by the current US codes since the effects of bar couplers on the seismic behavior of columns is not fully investigated. A bridge column including precast columns with couplers located in a high seismic region must be designed to handle large inelastic lateral deformations. The literature lacks a systematic performance database of mechanically spliced bridge columns. An experimental investigation was performed in the Lohr Structures Laboratory at South Dakota State University to determine the seismic performance of mechanically spliced bridge columns and to develop the first-of-its-kind mechanically spliced column performance database. Eight half-scale bridge columns were constructed and tested. However, only the first four columns are included in this document. One column was a cast-in-place (CIP) reference column and three were precast columns that incorporated different coupler products at the base of the precast columns (PGD with Dayton Sleeve-Lock coupler, PGS with NMB Splice Sleeve coupler, and PHD with Dextra Groutec S coupler). All columns were tested under the same slow cyclic displacement-controlled lateral loading. PGD, PGS, and PHD showed a 57, 14, and 63% reduction in displacement capacity compared to CIP. All columns met the current code seismic requirements thus they are recommended for use in all 50 states of the nation. An analytical study is performed to verify the current modeling methods of bridge columns, specifically mechanically spliced columns. The CIP and precast models were able to successfully reproduce the force-displacement relationship of the columns. Overall, the proposed models were found viable and may be used for the analysis and design of bridge columns incorporating seismic couplers.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Precast concrete construction.
Precast concrete construction -- Testing.
Reinforcing bars.
Reinforced concrete construction -- Earthquake effects.
Columns, Concrete.
Columns, Concrete -- Testing.
Concrete bridges -- Foundations and piers.
Concrete bridges -- Design and construction.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright