Application of Methacrylate Polymers for Seismic ABC Connections

Link to Latest Report: March 2021 Progress Report
Final Report Coming Soon!

Previous research has demonstrated the validity and effectiveness of grouted ducts filled with advanced materials such as UHPC for seismic ABC column-to-footing and column-to-cap beam connections. Both proprietary and non-proprietary UHPC have been considered and shown to be feasible and effective for this connection. Nonetheless, there is always needs for more alternatives in case of temporary market changes such as domestic steel fibers availability. Polymer-based materials can provide a good candidate for this application, but more research is needed to identify best polymer-based materials and demonstrate its validity using large-scale testing, which is the goal of this project.

Our approach for this proposed study is mainly an experimental approach with the main activity is large-scale structural test at UNR Earthquake Engineering Laboratory. The specific research objective of this study is to identify and select a polymer-based material with superior anchorage and bond behavior to apply and demonstrate using large-scale testing for seismic ABC connections. The results from this study will be compared to results from  a recent Caltrans study that used non-proprietary UHPC for seismic grouted ducts connections.


Task 1 – Conduct literature search on polymer-based materials for bridge applications:

A detailed literature search will be conducted to determine possible and potential alternatives of polymer-based materials and identity best material for the proposed application.

Task 2 – Development of experimental program and specimen design/construction

The objective of this task is to finalize the design of the test specimen that will be used to explore the validity of polymer-based materials for ABC seismic connection, i.e. column-to-footing grouted duct connection. This project will leverage a recently completed Caltrans project at UNR for developing and testing non-proprietary UHPC for grouted duct connections. Thus, similar specimen design that represent a 1/3-scale bridge column will be used for comparison purposes.

Task 3 – Conduct experimental testing of column with methacrylate or polymer concrete

The specimen and ABC connection with polymer-based material used in precast column-to-footing connection will be tested under combined axial load (8% axial load index) and cyclic lateral loading up to 10% drift ratios. The objective of the test is to test the column until failure to verify whether a full plastic hinge will be developed in the column outside the ABC connection.

Task 4 – Summarize the investigation and the results in a draft final report

A final report describing the details of different tasks will be prepared and submitted to the ABC-UTC steering committee for review and comments.

Research Team:
Principal Investigator:  Dr. Mohamed Moustafa
Research Assistant:  Mohamed Abokifa, Mahmoud Aboukifa

Previous Progress Reports: