Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 9, pp 5021–5044 | Cite as

Large-scale quasi-static testing of precast bridge column with pocket connections using noncontact lap-spliced bars and UHPC grout

  • Zhen Wang
  • Jingquan WangEmail author
  • Jianzhong Liu
  • Fangyu Han
  • Jian Zhang
Original Research


A novel pocket connection was put forward to be utilized in both ends of a precast bridge column to connect cap beam and foundation, respectively. The pocket connection adopted noncontact lap-spliced bars and ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) grout. One 1:2.5 scale specimen was fabricated and tested to investigate the seismic performance of the precast bridge column with the proposed pocket connections. Based on OpenSees platform, a verified finite element model was utilized to simulate cyclic behavior of a monolithic reinforced concrete companion. The comparison was carried out to evaluate the precast bridge column in a comprehensive way. The results show that drift capacities of the two bridge columns are up to 5% and controlled by lateral force degradation. The lapped length of five times diameter is feasible when UHPC grout is used for longitudinal bars with a diameter no more than 32 mm. For the precast bridge column, the joint opening between column and foundation contributes over 30% to total lateral displacement and traditional equivalent plastic hinge model may be not suitable. With drift ratio over 1.5%, the precast specimen has larger secant stiffness than that of the monolithic companion, owing to the shorter shear length of the precast specimen caused by moving up of the actual plastic hinge region. The precast and monolithic bridge columns have good energy dissipation capacity, and the maximum damping ratios reach up to 19.8% and 22.6% at 5% drift ratio, respectively. The precast specimen has 18.8% less residual drift ratio at 5% drift ratio than the monolithic companion.


Bridge columns Quasi-static test Seismic performance Ultra-high performance concrete Lap splice Precast construction Pocket connection 



The work described in this paper was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51438003), the Project of Science and Technology Research and Development Plan of China Railway Corporation (Grant No. 2017G006-C), and the Science and Technology Research Plan of China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Corporation (KYY2019096(19-21)).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringSoutheast UniversityNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of High Performance Civil Engineering MaterialsJiangsu Research Institute of Building ScienceNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringThe University of Hong KongHong KongPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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