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Steel and Composite Structures
  Volume 20, Number 4, March20 2016, pages 731-748

Strengthened and flexible pile-to-pilecap connections for integral abutment bridges
Jaeha Lee, WooSeok Kim, Kyeongjin Kim, Soobong Park and Yoseok Jeong

    Pile-to-pilecap connection performance is important as Integral abutment bridges (IABs) have no expansion joints and their flexible weak-axis oriented supporting piles take the role of the expansion joint. This connection may govern the bridge strength and the performance against various lateral loads. The intention of this study is to identify crack propagation patterns when the pile-to-pilecap connection is subjected to lateral loadings and to propose novel connections for improved performance under lateral loadings. In this study, eight different types of connections were developed and modeled, using Abaqus 6.12 to evaluate performances. Three types were developed by strengthening the connections using rebar or steel tube: (i) PennDOT specification; (ii) Spiral rebar; and (iii) HSS tube. Other types were developed by softening the connections using shape modifications: (i) cylindrical hole; (ii) reduced flange; (iii) removed flange; (iv) extended hole; and (v) slot hole connection types. The connections using the PennDOT specification, HSS tube, and cylindrical hole were shown to be ineffective in the prevention of cracks, resulting in lower structural capacities under the lateral load compared to other types. The other developed connections successfully delayed or arrested the concrete crack initiations and propagations. Among the successful connection types, the spiral rebar connection allowed a relatively larger reaction force, which can damage the superstructure of the IABs. Other softened connections performed better in terms of minimized reaction forces and crack prevention.
Key Words
    pile-to-pilecap connection; crack control; FEM; integral bridge
(1) Jaeha Lee, WooSeok Kim, Kyeongjin Kim:
Department of Civil Engineering, Korea Maritime and Ocean University, 727 Taejong-ro, Youngdo-gu, Busan, 606-791, Republic of Korea;
(2) Soobong Park, Yoseok Jeong:
Department of Civil Engineering, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yusung-gu, Daejeon, 305-764, Republic of Korea.

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