Masters Thesis

Prequalifying Testing Protocol for Buckling-restrained Braces Used on Steel Truss Bridges

The behavior of civil structures, such as buildings and bridges, subjected to earthquake shaking is highly dependent on structural components which resist the lateral forces that result from ground acceleration. Modern seismic design strategies commonly utilize specially designed lateral components or details intended to yield or break under excessive accumulated force so as to protect the primary vertical structural system. Buckling-restrained braces (BRBs) are one popular type of seismic structural fuse that function by yielding a steel core in both tension and compression, since buckling of the core is restrained. the use of BRBs is popular in buildings due in part to their simple installation, ability to achieve large values of accumulated ductility while dissipating large amounts of energy, and a well-established design procedure including required prequalifying testing. However, there are no standard recommendations or guidelines for the design of BRB systems as seismic resisting elements for bridges. Further, there are no prequalifying loading protocols for demands on BRBs implemented on common bridge types. This thesis advances the standardization of procedures for implementing BRBs on bridges through the development of prequalifying testing protocols for steel truss bridges.

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