Behaviour of reinforced concrete frame structure against progressive collapse
Harry, Ofonime Akpan
A structure subjected to extreme load due to explosion or human error may lead to progressive collapse. One of the direct methods specified by design guidelines for assessing progressive collapse is the Alternate Load Path method which involves removal of a structural member and analysing the structure to assess its potential of bridging over the removed member without collapse. The use of this method in assessing progressive collapse therefore requires that the vertical load resistance function of the bridging beam assembly, which for a typical laterally restrained reinforced concrete (RC) beams include flexural, compressive arching action and catenary action, be accurately predicted. In this thesis, a comprehensive study on a reliable prediction of the resistance function for the bridging RC beam assemblies is conducted, with a particular focus on a) the arching effect, and b) the catenary effect considering strength degradations. A critical analysis of the effect of axial restraint, flexural reinforcement ratio and span-depth ratio on compressive arching action are evaluated in quantitative terms. A more detailed theoretical model for the prediction of load-displacement behaviour of RC beam assemblies within the compressive arching response regime is presented. The proposed model takes into account the compounding effect of bending and arching from both the deformation and force points of view. Comparisons with experimental results show good agreement. Following the compressive arching action, catenary action can develop at a much larger displacement regime, and this action could help address collapse. A complete resistance function should adequately account for the catenary action as well as the arching effect. To this end, a generic catenary model which takes into consideration the strength degradation due to local failure events (e.g. rupture of bottom rebar or fracture of a steel weld) and the eventual failure limit is proposed. The application of the model in predicting the resistance function in beam assemblies with strength degradations is discussed. The validity of the proposed model is checked against predictions from finite element model and experimental tests. The result indicate that strength degradation can be accurately captured by the model. Finally, the above developed model framework is employed in investigative studies to demonstrate the application of the resistance functions in a dynamic analysis procedure, as well as the significance of the compressive arching effect and the catenary action in the progressive collapse resistance in different designs. The importance of an accurate prediction of the arching effect and the limiting displacement for the catenary action is highlighted.