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Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  Volume 17, Number 2, February 2004, pages 215-244

Deformation-based vulnerability functions for RC bridges
A.S. Elnashai, B. Borzi and S. Vlachos

    There is an ever-increasing demand for assessment of earthquake effects on transportation structures, emphasised by the crippling consequences of recent earthquakes hitting developed countries reliant on road transportation. In this work, vulnerability functions for RC bridges are derived analytically using advanced material characterisation, high quality earthquake records and adaptive inelastic dynamic analysis techniques. Four limit states are employed, all based on deformational quantities, in line with recent development of deformation-based seismic assessment. The analytically-derived vulnerability functions are then compared to a data set comprising observational damage data from the Northridge (California 1994) and Hyogo-ken Nanbu (Kobe 1995) earthquakes. The good agreement gives some confidence in the derived formulation that is recommended for use in seismic risk assessment. Furthermore, by varying the dimensions of the prototype bridge used in the study, and the span lengths supported by piers, three more bridges are obtained with different overstrength ratios (ratio of design-toavailable base shear). The process of derivation of vulnerability functions is repeated and the ensuing relationships compared. The results point towards the feasibility of deriving scaling factors that may be
used to obtain the set of vulnerability functions for a bridge with the knowledge of a
Key Words
    vulnerability functions; RC bridges; seismic response; damage assessment
A.S. Elnashai
CEE Dept., 205 North Mathews Ave., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,
Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA

B. Borzi
EQE International Ltd., UK

S. Vlachos
Thomi Engineering, Athens, Greece

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