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    Bracing for Earthquakes-Methods to economically and efficiently strengthen existing structures

    Researchers at the American University in Dubai are looking into novel methods to economically and efficiently strengthen existing structures, which were not designed according to current seismic design codes, to withstand earthquake forces.


    A comprehensive experimental and analytical research study was initiated by Dr. Elias Saqan, Chair and Professor of Civil Engineering at AUD, in collaboration with Dr. Hayder Rasheed, Professor of Civil Engineering at Kansas State University, USA.

    The objective of the research, according to Dr. Saqan, is to investigate the behavior of various types of mechanical anchorages used in Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) – strengthened reinforced concrete members when subjected to cyclic loads.

    The experimental program, which is currently underway at the structural engineering laboratory of AUD’s School of Engineering, includes testing six full-scale identical beam-column assemblages. One specimen is cyclically loaded without strengthening to serve as a control specimen. The other five specimens are strengthened using various configurations of CFRP anchors in order to determine the anchoring configuration that provides the required strength and ductility needed during a seismic event.

    The analytical program includes modeling these assemblages numerically using state-of-the-art techniques and tools to predict the experimental response. It also includes developing a rational design procedure to quantify the computation of the required anchorage to achieve or exceed the ultimate strength and ductility demands as addressed by major seismic codes.

    We are hopeful that our effort will culminate in having our results being implemented in international seismic design codes,” Dr. Saqan stated.

    This research has so far received great support from industrial partners.  The specimens were donated by Gulf Precast, Dubai, UAE.  The strengthening system was installed through a donation from struc’tur’al TECHNOLOGIES, Dubai, UAE.  The researchers extend their appreciation to both companies and to everyone who contributed to this project.