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Performance-Based Design Framework for CFRP Retrofitted Bridge Piers Subjected to Vehicular Collision

Vehicular crash onto bridge piers is one of the major causes of bridge failures. The current bridge design approach against vehicular collision involves either providing structural resistance to the pier or impact load redirection. However, multiple existing bridge piers are not provided with either of the protection mechanisms. The shear capacity of these piers can be enhanced by retrofitting them with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) laminate. However, the current AASHTO bridge design specifications do not have provisions for designing such piers against vehicular collisions. This study performed a 3D Finite Element investigation on CFRP retrofitted bridge piers subjected to vehicular collisions and developed a Performance-Based Design (PBD) framework. Plastic rotation and shear distortion of the impacted piers were calculated using the Capacity Design concept, and it was found that the shear capacity of the retrofitted piers improved by up to 22%. Similarly, the demands imposed by Single Unit Truck and Truck Trailer on the impacted pier were computed using calibrated pulse models. A plastic rotation and shear distortion function at different impact locations defined the pier’s performance.



Sujan Subedi Ph.D. Candidate
Graduate Assistant
The University of Texas at Arlington


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