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Nonlinear Pushover Analysis of Bridge Columns Supported on Full-Moment


Connection CISS Piles on Clays

Article  in  Earthquake Spectra · August 2008


DOI: 10.1193/1.2945627

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Nonlinear Pushover Analysis
of Bridge Columns Supported
on Full-Moment Connection
CISS Piles on Clays
Pedro F. Silva,a) M.EERI, and Majid T. Manzarib)

This paper summarizes results from a static pushover analysis on the


inelastic response of bridge columns supported on pile groups and consisting
of full moment connection cast-in-place steel shell piles. The analytical
models considered the nonlinear actions that develop in the column, the
supporting piles and the soil. Parametric studies were then carried out under
different sets of column height to diameter or aspect ratios and soil–structure
interaction, and included variations in: (a) nonlinear soil–structure horizontal
interaction and (b) nonlinear soil–structure vertical interaction. Parametric
studies confirmed that variations in the horizontal and vertical soil stiffness
can affect the pile cap lateral deflection and rotation, respectively. As
importantly, results from this analysis indicate that for columns with aspect
ratios lower than six, the contribution of soil–structure interaction is
significant; however, for columns with higher aspect ratios and for stiffer soils,
the effects of soil–structure interaction are almost negligible regarding the
lateral response of the system. Detailed results from this study are presented
and discussed in this paper. 关DOI: 10.1193/1.2945627兴

INTRODUCTION
In the past, foundations were assumed to consist of a rigid underlying medium and
its influence on the seismic response of structures was not properly considered. In the
last two decades, however, it has been recognized that soil–structure interaction plays a
major role in the lateral response of structures, and its influence is likely to alter the
response characteristics of a structural system. As such, the effects of pile foundation
systems need to be properly considered when evaluating the seismic performance of
bridge columns supported on pile foundation systems. This paper summarizes paramet-
ric studies on the inelastic seismic response of bridge columns supported on a pile group
and its contribution to the system displacement ductility.
The study presented herein considered the nonlinear actions that develop in the col-
umn, the supporting piles and the soil surrounding the piles. The column was modeled
under different sets of column height to diameter or aspect ratios, varying between 2 and
10. For the piles, the analytical models used in developing the moment curvature rela-
tions included the prying action at the pile head that develops when the steel shells are

a)
The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052
b)
The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052

751
Earthquake Spectra, Volume 24, No. 3, pages 751–774, August 2008; © 2008, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
752 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

embedded into the pile cap. While the seismic response of steel jacketed bridge columns
is well understood, uncertainties in the seismic evaluation of cast-in-place steel shells
(CISS) pile foundation systems still exists due to the complexity of determining the ca-
pacity of individual CISS piles in the connection to the pile cap. Analytical models for
full moment connection CISS piles were used to evaluate the seismic performance of
pile groups (Silva and Seible 2001b, Hose et al. 2000).
In this paper, a 4 ⫻ 4 pile group was designed and subsequently evaluated under lat-
eral loads using these analytical models. Variables investigated were: (a) nonlinear soil–
structure horizontal interaction, and (b) nonlinear soil–structure vertical interaction.
Analytical results confirm that topics discussed in item (a) above, tend to affect the lat-
eral deflection of the pile group, and topics discussed in item (b) tend to affect mostly
the rotation of the pile cap. Analytical results also show that accounting for the soil–
structure interaction can have a positive impact on the design of bridge column/
foundation systems, as the displacement ductility demand on pile foundation systems
may be decreased significantly. However, this decrease is higher for softer soils. Results
from this analysis also show that for columns with aspect ratios lower than six the con-
tribution of soil–structure interaction is significant and under higher aspect ratios there is
a significant reduction, with almost negligible effects for stiffer soils. This indicates that
the column height affects the response of a pile group by defining different pairs of
shear-moment 共VC / MC兲, which in turn will lead to drastic variations in the shear force,
bending moment and axial force profiles along the length of the piles (Silva and Seible
2001a). This paper presents a detailed discussion of these analytical results that deal
with the seismic performance of CISS pile foundation systems and their influence on the
seismic response of bridge systems.

FULL-MOMENT CONNECTION CISS PILES


Full-moment connection CISS piles are typically constructed using steel shells that
are embedded into the pile cap, and the core is filled with concrete that is reinforced
with straight anchor bars into the pile cap. The prototype CISS pile shown in Figure 1
depicts a full-moment connection (Silva et al. 1997). The pile shown in Figure 1b is the
standard Caltrans Class 200 pile (Caltrans 1990), consisting of a 19 mm thick steel shell
with an inside diameter of 610 mm, and the core is symmetrically reinforced with ten
D35 (US #11) straight anchor bars with a development length into the pile cap of
1346 mm. Typically the anchorage reinforcement extends 5.0 m below the pile cap and
in this research work the length of the piles was 20.0 m. For this pile type the maximum
allowable design axial loads are −1780 kN and +3560 kN (Caltrans 1990), where
the negative and positive values correspond to tensile and compressive axial loads,
respectively.

ANALYTICAL MODELS
Analytical models were developed to establish the stress profiles depicted in Figure 2
and to obtain the pile section nonlinear moment curvature relationships. These stress
profiles were established by assuming the traditional linear variations of strains, the non-
linear material stress-strain relationships, and the axial loads imposed on a pile. As
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 753

Figure 1. CISS pile details.

Figure 2. Anchorage region force equilibrium relations.


754 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

shown in Figure 1a, different section analysis along the length of the piles were required
to account for the variations in the longitudinal reinforcement, and detailing of the steel
shell at the connection to the pile cap. From this moment curvature program it was pos-
sible to extract the tangential nonlinear flexural stiffness of the piles, EpIp, obtained as
the ratio of the incremental moment and curvature, ⌬M / ⌬␾. These analytical models
were established for the anchorage region and at different sections along the length of
the prototype CISS piles and were calibrated using experimental results for the proto-
type CISS pile depicted in Figure 1 (Silva et al. 1997). A brief description of these ana-
lytical models is presented; however, these models are presented in greater detail else-
where (Silva and Seible 2001b).

Section Analysis OUTSIDE the Anchorage Region


Outside the anchorage zone and along the subgrade region the nonlinear flexural
stiffness, EpIp, of the piles was obtained by implementing the moment-curvature analysis
method. At each curvature level the internal force equilibrium equation was obtained in
terms of the following relation (Silva and Seible 2001b):
nc ns nc

兺 fciAci + 兺 ␣sifsiAsi + 兺 ␣shifshiAshi = Pp 共1兲


i=1 i=1 i=1

Where fci, fsi, and fshi and Aci, Asi, and Ashi are the internal stresses and areas for the
concrete infill, the internal reinforcing steel, and the steel shell, respectively, nc is the
number of concrete segments and ns is the number of reinforcing bars per section, ␣shi
and ␣si are bond stress factors for the steel shell and the reinforcing steel, and were in-
troduced to account for the regions of the bond transfer lengths B and C, respectively,
and Pp is the external applied axial load on the piles. In Equation 1 the concrete infill
stresses, fci, were evaluated considering the confining action of the steel shell (Chai et al.
1991). Since the anchorage reinforcement terminates 5.0 m below the pile cap, within
this upper region the longitudinal reinforcement was also considered effective in evalu-
ating the moment-curvature capacity of the prototype pile. Below this region only the
steel shell and the confined concrete stresses were considered in evaluating the moment-
curvature relations for the prototype CISS pile.
Referring to Figure 2 it can be seen that the steel shell is not anchored into the pile
cap. As such, the tensile stresses present in the steel shell (see Figure 2b) were modified
by the bond stress factor ␣shi, varying linearly from one at the end of the development
zone to zero at the ends of the steel shell. To develop the tensile stresses present in the
steel shell an average bond strength, µave, of 3.5 MPa was assumed for the analysis,
leading to a development length, ldsh, of approximately 1.5 m and was computed based
on the expression:

ldsh = 冉 D2j − D2i


4µaveDi
冊 冉
fy,sh =
6482 − 6102
4 ⫻ 3.5 ⫻ 610

⫻ 270 = 1.5m 共2兲

where Dj and Di are the outside 共648 mm兲 and inside 共610 mm兲 diameter of the steel
shell, respectively, and fy,sh is the steel shell yield strength 共270 MPa兲.
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 755

As shown in Figure 2c, when in compression the steel shell was always assumed ef-
fective because it is directly in contact with the concrete. Likewise, the bond transfer
region for the longitudinal reinforcement was estimated at 1.2 m, and was designated as
region C in Figure 1a. Within this region the stresses in the longitudinal reinforcement
were modified by the bond stress factor ␣si. Finally, the internal bending moment on the
piles, Mp, was:
nc ns nc
Dp
Mp = 兺 fciAcidci + 兺 ␣sifsiAsidsi + 兺 ␣shifshiAshidshi + Pp 共3兲
i=1 i=1 i=1 2
Where dci, dsi, and dshi is the distance from the center of a segment to the extreme fibers
in compression, and Dp is the outside diameter of the pile.

Section Analysis WITHIN the Anchorage Region A


In the anchorage region, or region A in Figure 1a, the internal equilibrium equations
used to develop the nonlinear moment-curvature relations for the prototype CISS pile
were similar to Equation 1, and Equation 3 was slightly modified within the anchorage
region by the relation:
nc ns nc
Dp
Mp = 兺 fciAcidci + 兺 fsiAsidsi + 兺 ␣shifshiAshidshi + Pp − VpHe + ⌬Mp 共4兲
i=1 i=1 i=1 2
Variables Mp, Vp, and Pp are, respectively, the moment, shear and axial forces in the
piles below the pile cap interface. Since the steel shell is not fully anchored into the pile
cap ␣shi was equal to one when in compression and zero when in tension. Furthermore,
in Equation 4, increase in the flexural capacity due to contact of the steel shell with the
pile cap cover concrete, ⌬Mp, was estimated by:

He
⌬Mp = Ca 共5兲
3
Compression forces Ca developed as a result of the rotation of the steel shell and
contact against the pile cap cover concrete. As previously described this analytical model
is described in greater detail elsewhere (Silva and Seible 2001b).

MOMENT-CURVATURE RELATIONS AND INTERACTION DIAGRAMS


Reflecting the changes in the reinforcement layout shown in Figure 1a, the piles were
investigated in five different regions. For each of these regions moment-curvature rela-
tions were evaluated at different axial load levels and results of these analyses are de-
scribed in this section. Moment interaction diagrams were also developed for these re-
gions and although they were not necessary for the pushover analysis they are presented
herein to clearly illustrate the effects of the prying action of the steel shell on the mo-
ment capacity of the piles in the anchorage region.
756 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

Figure 3. Pile cap damage in the anchorage region A.

Limit States
Performance limit states were established to characterize the seismic performance of
the prototype CISS piles and a complete description of these limit states is presented
elsewhere (Silva and Seible 2001b, Ferrito et al. 1999). In this work two limit states were
considered and consisted of the Pile Elastic Limit State, and the Pile Cap Damage Limit
State. The Pile Elastic Limit State was defined based on the theoretical first yield of the
anchorage reinforcement corresponding to a steel strain of ␧s = ␧y (Hose et al. 2000). The
Pile Cap Damage Limit State was defined according to the damage observed in the pile
cap anchorage region, and was established when the pile cap concrete strain defined as
␧c,sides in Figure 2 reaches 0.004 m / m. Typical damage observed at this limit state is
depicted in Figure 3 (Silva and Seible 2001b), which shows that damage in the pile cap
surrounding the steel shell is likely to occur because of the prying action of the steel
shell against the pile cap cover concrete.

Moment-Curvature Relations in the Anchorage Region


Moment-curvature relations for the five regions shown in Figure 1a were developed
and these analyses were used to model the nonlinear response of piles in a 4 ⫻ 4 pile
group under lateral loads; however, for brevity only the results for the anchorage region
are described herein. Moment-curvature relations for the prototype CISS pile in the an-
chorage region and subjected to different axial load levels were developed based on
Equation 1 to Equation 5. The numerical values shown near each curve in Figure 4a in-
dicate the different axial load levels used in these analyses, where compression and ten-
sion loads were defined as positive and negative, respectively. The concrete and steel ma-
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 757

Figure 4. Pile section analyses.

terial properties used in the analyses are presented in Table 1. For the steel shell a yield
and ultimate strengths of 280 MPa and 400 MPa were used in the analyses.
Typically in reinforced concrete members the ultimate curvature capacity under axial
compression loads is smaller than under tension loads. However, as depicted in Figure
4a, this condition is reversed for sections with the contribution from the steel shell only
in the compression zone. This condition is valid because while the steel shell does not
contribute to the section tensile forces, the steel shell acts similarly to compression re-
inforcement, which tends to increase the ductility capacity or ultimate curvature capacity
of RC members.
Another observation of the moment curvature analyses indicates that the moment ca-
pacity of the pile increases significantly beyond the Pile Elastic Limit State and up to the
Pile Cap Damage Limit State due to the prying action of the steel shell, as obtained in
terms of Equation 5. The Pile Cap Damage Limit State is followed by a decrease in the

Table 1. Material properties

Longitudinal Transverse
Reinforcement Reinforcement
Concrete Strength, fc
fy, MPa fu, MPa fy, MPa Spacing, mm MPa ⬘

Column 420 600 400 100 35


Pile 420 600 400-Spirals 100 25
270-Shell
758 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

moment capacity, as a result of damage in the vicinity of the pile (see Figure 3) and a
decrease in ⌬Mp per Equation 5. This condition matches the experimental results ob-
served by Silva and Seible (2001b).
Design of a pile foundation system to the Pile Elastic Limit State is the traditional
approach for the design of a pile group because of difficulties associated with inspection
of the piles below the pile cap. However, due to the embedment of the steel shell it may
not be possible to maintain a damage free connection as a result of the close proximity
of these two limit states. Typically in CISS piles the steel shell is embedded into the pile
cap for construction purposes, as such a design alternative could be easily achieved by
leaving a gap between the steel shell and the pile cap. This connection detail has already
been experimentally validated and damage was concentrated in the gap region without
observed damage in the pile cap (Silva et al. 1999). In this cited research program, the
gap region was constructed by providing a wooden sleeve matching the depth of the de-
sired gap region. However, further research is needed in order to address issues related to
corrosion of the connection reinforcement.

Moment Interaction Diagrams


Based on the models previously described moment interaction diagrams along the
length of the piles were also established to best quantify the effects of the prying action
of the steel shell on the moment capacity of the piles in the anchorage region. Variations
in axial loads in the piles result from the action of the column shear forces, VC, and
moment, MC. For the anchorage region A, the moment interaction diagram was estab-
lished for the Pile Cap Damage Limit State. For the regions B and C, the moment in-
teraction diagrams were developed at yielding of the reinforcement. Finally, for the un-
reinforced concrete filled steel shell region E the diagram was established at yielding of
the steel shell. For clarity, region D results are not presented herein.
Results from these analyses are depicted in Figure 4b, which also shows the Caltrans
limiting design axial load levels for this pile under combined axial and lateral loads
(Caltrans 1990). Relevant to the study presented herein, it is important to recognize that
in comparison to the transition or region B curve, the moment capacity of the pile within
the anchorage region A is significantly accentuated as a result of the prying action of the
steel shell. In addition, this increase is more pronounced within the region limited by the
design axial load levels. As such, in the analysis it was essential to include the effects of
the prying action of the steel shell in order to best represent the response of these piles
under lateral loads.

PILE GROUP ANALYTICAL MODELING


In this study, the finite element model shown in Figure 5 and consisting of a column
plus the pile cap and the pile group was investigated in terms of: (1) nonlinear horizontal
soil stiffness at the level of the pile cap and surrounding the piles, (2) nonlinear soil to
pile vertical interaction, (3) variations in the column height or column aspect ratio, and
(4) variations in the soil stiffness. In the finite element model the piles were modeled
according to the properties for the standard Caltrans Class 200 pile with a steel shell
embedment length of 127 mm. The piles were arranged in a 4 ⫻ 4 pile group with cen-
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 759

Figure 5. Pile group finite element model.

terline spacing of 2.50 m and an edge distance of 1.50 m. The centerline spacing be-
tween piles corresponds to nearly four pile diameters, 4Dp; as such, no pile group effects
were considered in the analysis. The pile cap was modeled as linear elastic with the stiff-
ness computed based on a section with the dimensions 10.5⫻ 10.5 m ⫻ 2.4 m.
The soil–structure interaction analysis was performed using the pushover analysis
technique. The pushover analysis was performed according to the following steps:
Step 1: In the first step of analysis, the superstructure plus the column weight totaling
9,000 kN and the pile cap selfweight of 594 kN/ m were imposed on the system. These
gravity loads were applied incrementally, and at each increment the moment curvature
relationships used to compute the tangential stiffness for the columns and the piles were
modified to account for the variations in the gravity loads. This step was essential to
establish the initial axial loads on the piles. Since, as described later in this paper, the
effects of skin friction resistance on the piles were included in the analysis, the axial
loads also varied along the length of the piles.
Step 2: After simulation of the gravity loads, moment curvature analysis for each of
the frame elements, modeling the piles, was performed by taking into account the axial
load variations on the piles and the five different regions outlined in Figure 1a. Based on
760 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

the moments present in the piles, the piles’ finite element tangential stiffness was up-
dated and the column lateral load was applied on the system. Since the axial load was
maintained constant in the column after Step 1, there was no need to update the nonlin-
ear moment curvature relationships for the column after Step 1.
Step 3: At successive iterations and up to the ultimate moment capacity of the col-
umn, while incrementally applying the column lateral load, intermediate steps were per-
formed and equilibrium was achieved when the elements stiffness remained constant.
Nonlinear relationships for the soil either in the vertical or horizontal direction were also
considered and these relationships are described later in this paper. Steps 2 and 3 were
repeated until ultimate conditions were observed in the column. The iterative analytical
component of the study was conducted by interfacing the moment curvature analysis
program with a finite element program. The finite element package that was used in con-
junction with the moment-curvature program was the structure analysis program
CALSD developed at UCSD (Seible et al. 1991). The interface between the moment cur-
vature and the finite element program was accomplished via batch mode at incremental
steps. Modeling parameters for the column, piles and soil are discussed.

COLUMN MODELING
Single Pile Element Model
In order to evaluate the influence of the column height on the lateral response of the
pile group the column aspect ratio (i.e., HC / DC) was set at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
Variations in the column height will affect the response of the pile group by defining
different pairs of shear-moment 共VC / MC兲 and will impose variations in the lateral trans-
lation and rotation of the pile cap. This in turn will lead to drastic variations in shear
force, bending moment and axial force profiles along the length of the piles.
In this paper the column diameter, DC, was set at 1.83 m, with an applied axial load
of 9 , 000 kN, and according to the additional characteristics shown in Figure 6. As such,
the axial load ratio on the column was nearly 9.8%, the column longitudinal reinforce-
ment ratio was nearly 2.5%, and the transverse reinforcement volumetric ratio was
nearly 1.1%. Concrete and steel material properties used in the analysis of the pile group
are presented in Table 1, and results from the column section moment curvature analysis
are presented in Figure 6.

SINGLE PILE MODELING


Single Pile Finite Element Model
The anchorage zone or region A in Figure 1a was modeled by a single element po-
sitioned at the uppermost location connection to the pile cap. The bending stiffness of
this single element was obtained using the moment-curvature relations shown in Figure
4a. For the other regions a similar analysis was performed. As such, at each lateral load
increment the pile’s beam elements bending stiffness properties were updated based on
the moment curvature analyses, and the soil was modeled as an array of nonlinear un-
coupled spring elements.
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 761

Figure 6. Column section moment-curvature relations.

The analytical subgrade reaction model, typically known as the Winkler model, was
used for the analysis of piles under lateral loading (Chai et al. 1991). Soil–structure in-
teraction analysis was performed using beam elements for modeling of the piles, and the
soil surrounding the piles was modeled by spring elements according to the discrete fi-
nite element model illustrated in Figure 7b.
It can be shown that the accuracy in the finite element model concerning the lateral
response of piles is directly dependent on the pile discretization. Some authors recom-
mend that elements with a length of approximately half of the pile diameter are satis-
factory in obtaining a solution with a reasonable degree of accuracy (Silva and Seible
2000, Priestley et al. 1995b). In this study, six beam elements with a length of D/6 were
used at the pile head, and using a quadratic regression, the element sizes were increased
to D/2 at the pile tip elevation (see Figure 7b).

SOIL MODELING
In this work, the soil was modeled with discrete nonlinear spring elements and prop-
erties representing cohesive soft and stiff soils with a modulus of elasticity of
5 , 000 kN/ m2 (soft clay) and 50, 000 kN/ m2 (stiff clay).
762 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

Figure 7. Finite element model—single piles.

Horizontal Soil Model Surrounding Piles


Effects of the soil surrounding the piles in the horizontal direction were modeled in
terms of elements with axial stiffness only. Many researchers have devoted considerable
effort to develop other models that represent the soil properties with expressions more
complex than the Winkler method. However, representation of the soil properties with
these more complex soil models was not covered in this work. In order to further reduce
the running time during the analysis, these elements were placed only on one side of the
pile with an equal axial stiffness in compression and tension.
In this work, the soil surrounding the piles had an assumed shear strength varying
between typical undrained shear strength of lightly overconsolidated clay (with an OCR
of 2, characteristic of soft soils) to that of highly overconsolidated clay (with an OCR of
10, characteristic of stiff soils). As shown in Table 2, the ratio of the unconfined com-
pression strength to the initial vertical effective stress was taken as 0.2 for the soft soils
and 1.0 for the stiff soils. The ground water table (GWT) was assumed at the ground
surface, as shown in Figure 5. A bilinear relation between the horizontal soil pressure

Table 2. Shear strength used for different soil types

Soil Unconfined compression strength used Modulus of Elasticity, ES


Type in Equations 10, 13, 14, 17, and 18 kN/ m2
Soft su / ␴⬘v = 0.2 5,000
Stiff su / ␴⬘v = 1.0 50,000
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 763

and lateral displacement was used to idealize the soil properties. This bilinear relation is
a simplified form of the p-y curves normally used in the analysis of piles under lateral
loading. Subsequently the modulus of subgrade reaction was obtained by using the fol-
lowing equation proposed by Vesic (1961):

kh = 0.65 冑
12 E sD 4 E s
EpIp 共1 − µs2兲
共6兲

Given the pile’s diameter D, elastic modulus Ep, and moment of inertia Ip, and the
soil’s elastic modulus of Es with a Poisson µs ratio of 0.45, the values of kh for the two
cases of soft and stiff clays were computed based on the shear strengths values given in
Table 2. The bilinear horizontal soil model expressed in terms of the soil pressure was
given by (Poulos 1971):

p s = k h␦ h ; ps ⱕ pult 共7兲
where ␦h is the lateral displacement of the soil due to the pressure ps. Note that ps is the
soil reaction force per unit length of the pile and pult is the ultimate soil reaction force
per unit length as given in the sequel by Equation 9. The soil spring stiffness at any
depth was computed based on:

Ksh = kh⌬z 共8兲


where Ks is the equivalent spring stiffness, kh is the modulus of horizontal subgrade re-
action modulus, and ⌬z is the spacing between the springs at a given depth z. Assuming
the horizontal subgrade reaction modulus was normalized in terms of a nominal pile di-
ameter of 1.80 m (Pender 1978), then kh may be expressed in terms of the nominal pile
diameter D* and the pile section diameter D. Thus, the soil normalized spring stiffness
was given by:

Ksh = kh⌬z 冉 冊
D
D*
共9兲

In Equation 7 the limiting soil pressure, pult, was obtained according to the relation
proposed by O’Neil and Gazioglu (1984):

pult = FNpsuD 共10兲


where F is a reduction factor depending on the failure strain of the soil in a triaxial und-
rained compression test and ranges from 0.5 for stiff clays to 1.0 for soft clays, su is the
unconfined compression strength of the soil, and Np is defined as:

z Lcr
Np = 3 + 6 ⱕ 9; zcr = 共11兲
zcr 4
Variable Lcr in Equation 11 is the critical length of the pile, which is usually chosen
at 20D. Equations 6 and 9 take the relative stiffness of the pile and pile diameter into
account. It is noted that normally a nonlinear curve precedes the limiting pressure. In
764 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

this work, this nonlinear portion is approximated by a linear secant modulus.


Under cyclic loading and resulting from the soil inelastic deformations, gaps form at
the interface between the piles and the soil. To incorporate the formation of these inter-
face gaps, various gap elements have been proposed in the literature (Taciroglu et al.
2006). This gapping phenomenon was not covered in this work, because the analytical
work was only performed for monotonic pushover analyses.

Horizontal Soil Model Surrounding Pile Cap


The seismic response of the pile group was also characterized in terms of the passive
pressure that develops in front of the pile cap. This was conducted by positioning a
spring in front of the pile cap as illustrated in Figure 5. The pile cap spring stiffness was
computed according to the expression

Kcap = 共kh兲avgHcap 冉 冊
Wcap
D*
共12兲

where 共kh兲avg is the average value of kh over the height of the pile cap and Hcap and Wcap
are the height and width of the pile cap, respectively. This equation was developed with
basis on Equation 9. For this condition and as shown in Figure 5 the soil was positioned
at the upper level of the pile cap.

Vertical Soil Model


Modeling of the soil–structure interaction in the vertical direction considered the end
bearing resistance at the piles’ tip and the skin friction resistance. The pile end bearing
resistance was modeled by a single spring positioned at the end of the piles. For mod-
eling of the skin friction resistance discrete vertical springs were placed along the length
of the piles.
Vertical End Bearing Resistance: The vertical end bearing resistance was only con-
sidered for piles in compression with no resistance when the piles are in tension. The
end bearing stiffness, Kvb, was calculated by using the q-w relationship proposed by
Aschenbrenner and Olson (1984) for piles embedded in clays. Hence, the q-w relation-
ship was assumed bilinear, and the initial slope of the q-w curve was obtained by:

9su
Kq = 共13兲
0.01Dtip
where Dtip is the diameter of the pile tip and su is the average unconfined compression
strength of the soil from 3Dtip below to 3Dtip above the pile tip. Once the tip displace-
ment reaches 1% of the pile diameter the soil pressure at the pile tip reaches its maxi-
mum value, qmax, and remains constant with a limit given by (Aschenbrenner and Olson
1984):
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 765

qmax = Nc · su 共14兲
where Nc ranges from 0.0 to 20.0 and is independent of the soil shear strength. In this
work, Nc was set to 9. The vertical spring constant at the pile tip is then calculated as:

Kvb = KqAp 冉 冊
D
D*
共15兲

where Ap is the cross sectional area of the pile at the pile tip.
Vertical Skin Friction Resistance Modeling: In this case the skin friction resistance
was assumed equal for the piles in compression and tension. The distributed side friction
was modeled by using the t-z relationships developed by Aschenbrenner and Olson
(1984), based on a large number of field load tests on piles in clays. Again a simple
bilinear relationship was assumed between the side friction, ␶, and the relative displace-
ment of pile and soil, ␦v. The relationship is assumed to be linear up to a relative dis-
placement of 0.4% of the pile diameter, where the maximum shear stress is mobilized in
the soil-pile interface and is computed in terms of the next two equations (Aschenbren-
ner and Olson 1984).

␶ = ktf␦v ; ␶ ⱕ tmax 共16兲


The maximum mobilized shear stress is calculated as (Aschenbrenner and Olson 1984)

␶max = ␣su 共17兲


where su is the unconfined compression strength of the soil, and ␣ is a constant of pro-
portionality computed as:

Pou − Ptu
␣= 共18兲
s uA s
In this equation Pou is the pile head load at failure, Ptu is the pile tip load at failure, and
As is the area of soil-pile interface. The t-z relationship flattens as the shear stress
reaches tmax, and the initial stiffness of the vertical springs representing the t-z relation-
ship was calculated as:

Kvtf = ktf · 共␲D兲 · ⌬z 共19兲

PILE GROUP ANALYSIS RESULTS


Analytical results to characterize the response of the pile group based on the condi-
tions previously defined are presented in this section in two phases.

PHASE I ANALYSIS RESULTS


Phase I parametric studies consisted of four runs that were performed by using a col-
umn with an aspect ratio (i.e., HC / DC) of 8 and with variations in the: (1) soil properties
representing cohesive soft and stiff soils with a modulus of elasticity of 5 , 000 kN/ m2
766 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

Table 3. Run number

Run Pile Cap


No. Soil Type Horizontal Spring

Stiff Soft No Yes


1 • •
2 • •
3 • •
4 • •

(soft clay) and 50, 000 kN/ m2 (stiff clay), (2) horizontal spring at the pile cap elevation,
and (3) modeling of the vertical skin friction resistance. Outline of all four runs is pre-
sented in Table 3.

Pile Cap Rotation


Figure 8 presents the pile cap rotations for the four runs outlined in Table 3. This
figure clearly shows that the horizontal spring positioned at the front of the pile cap,
Kcap, has minimum effect on the pile cap rotation, since for lines representative of the
variations in the pile cap spring (i.e., solid versus dashed lines) are nearly concurrent. In
this figure it is clear that modeling with and without this horizontal spring in front of the
pile cap leads to nearly the same pile cap rotations.

Figure 8. Pile group analysis—pile cap rotation.


NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 767

Figure 9. Pile group analysis—pile cap lateral deflection.

Pile Cap Deflection


Figure 9 presents the pile cap lateral deflection for different pile cap soil spring stiff-
ness and for stiff and soft soils representative of the four runs outlined in Table 3. The
following are also key observations derived from this figure:
1. The horizontal soil stiffness placed along the length of the piles has a significant
impact on the pile cap lateral deflection. As before, this observation was de-
duced by comparing results presented in Figure 9a and Figure 9b for stiff and
soft soils, respectively.
2. The horizontal spring positioned at the front of the pile cap affects slightly the
pile cap lateral deflection. From this figure it is clear that the pile cap lateral
deflection was larger when the pile cap horizontal spring was not considered in
the analysis; however, this difference was more accentuated for stiff soil
conditions.
These observations indicate that generally modeling of the horizontal spring stiffness
has a higher influence on the pile cap lateral deflection.

PHASE II ANALYSIS RESULTS


In Phase II, the main objective was to investigate the influence of the column aspect
ratio on the performance of pile groups under varying lateral loads. In addition, the
analysis presented next consisted of variations in the pile cap spring and in terms of the
soil modulus of elasticity presented in Table 2.

System Performance
In this study the column aspect ratio (i.e., HC / DC) was 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.
Investigation of the 4 ⫻ 4 pile foundation system seismic performance was evaluated by
768 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

Figure 10. System deflection components.

studying the influence of these column aspect ratios, ␣C, on the pile cap rotation, ␪cap,
and lateral deflection, ⌬cap, and ultimately the influence of these modes of deformation
on the overall system displacement ductility. In the pile group plus column system, three
components of deformations influence the overall system response and the effects of
these components on the global displacement of the structural system are illustrated in
Figure 10. Relevant to the study presented in this paper, it is important to emphasize that
nonlinear deformations that develop in the piles are not possible to quantify in a separate
component but they are represented within the response of the pile cap rotation and de-
flection. As such, the overall system displacement ductility with foundation flexibility,
µ⌬D, and without foundation flexibility, µ⌬C, were computed based on:

⌬UT ⌬UT
µ⌬D = ; µ⌬C = 共20兲
⌬yT ⌬col,y
where ⌬col,y is the fixed base yield deflection of the column, and ⌬yT and ⌬UT are the
overall yield and ultimate displacements at the top of the column, respectively, and are
given by:

⌬yT = HC␪cap,y + ⌬cap,y + ⌬col,y ; ⌬UT = HC␪cap,U + ⌬cap,U + ⌬col,U 共21兲


where HC is the column height, ␪cap,y and ␪cap,U are the pile cap rotations evaluated at
yield, ⌬col,y, and ultimate, ⌬col,U, conditions for the column, and ⌬cap,y and ⌬cap,U are the
pile cap lateral deflections evaluated at these same limit levels. Based on these expres-
sions the system displacement ductilities µ⌬D and µ⌬C were evaluated and results from
these analyses are presented in Figure 11. The ultimate displacements at the top of the
column, ⌬UT, were obtained from the moment curvature analysis depicted in Figure 6,
and correspond to either onset of fracture of the column longitudinal reinforcement or
crushing of the confined concrete core. In this figure the theoretical fixed base curve
(shown as -·-) was computed from the column moment curvature analysis depicted in
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 769

Figure 11. System displacement ductility assessment.

Figure 6, and was computed by expanding on the following expression:

µ⌬ = 1 + 3 冉 冊 冉
␾U − ␾y
␾ yH C
2 Lp HC −
Lp
2
冊 共22兲

where ␾U and ␾y are the column ultimate and yield curvatures, and the plastic hinge
length, Lp, was estimated by:

Lp = 0.08HC + Lsp ; Lsp = 0.022dbfy 共23兲


where Lsp is the strain penetration into the bent cap, and db and fy are the column bar
diameter and yield strength, respectively. Next substituting Equation 22 with HC
= ␣CDC and µ␾= ␾U / ␾y in Equation 21, one obtains the following fixed-base displacement
ductility, µ⌬, equation in terms of the column aspect ratio, ␣C and the column curvature
ductility capacity, µ␾:

µ⌬ = 1 +
3共µ␾ − 1兲
D C2␣ C2
冉0.0768 ⫻ D 2
C C␣ 2
+ 0.92 ⫻ D L ␣
C sp C −
Lsp2
2
冊 共24兲

Also shown in Figure 11 by a dashed line is the limit proposed by Priestley et al.
(1995a) that has been used to estimate graphically the displacement ductility capacity of
a single column as a function of the column aspect ratio. Comparing these two curves it
is clear that the curve proposed by Priestley et al. (1995a) represents a trilinear interpo-
lation for the curve given by Equation 24. In addition, in Figure 11 the symbols 夡 and
770 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

夝 depict the computed column fixed-base displacement ductility. In this case, fixed-base
refers to the column displacement contribution to the pile group analysis for stiff and
soft soils and were computed based on

⌬col,U
µcol,⌬ = 共25兲
⌬col,y
From the pile group analyses, the remaining curves shown in Figure 11a depict the
system displacement ductility µ⌬D for stiff soils (shown with solid circles) and soft soils
(shown with open circles). These curves clearly show that for low aspect ratios there is
a significant reduction in µ⌬D for both stiff and soft soils with a pronounced decrease in
soft soils conditions. For higher aspect ratios the contribution of the soil–structure inter-
action is less pronounced and, for stiff soils with aspect ratios greater than 6 there is no
appreciable difference in the analysis for a fixed base or pile group analysis.
Following on the previous discussion, Figure 11b depicts the system displacement
ductility µ⌬C for stiff soils (shown with solid circles and dashed lines) and soft soils
(shown with open circles and dashed lines). These curves clearly show that for low as-
pect ratios there is a significant increase in µ⌬C for both stiff and soft soils with a pro-
nounced increase in soft soils conditions. For higher aspect ratios and stiff soils the same
conclusion can be established, which states that contribution of the soil–structure inter-
action has basically no influence on the system displacement ductility.

Contribution of Pile Cap Rotation and Deflection on System Ductility


A significance component of the analyses presented in this paper is the quantification
of the pile cap rotation and deflection on the system displacement ductility. This can be
of significance in seismic design of structures, requiring accurate predictions of the non-
linear response of the overall system under seismic loads. Referring to Figure 12 it is
shown that the pile cap deflection contributes significantly more to the system displace-
ment ductility than the pile cap rotation for low aspect ratios. However, for high aspect
ratio and soft soils the pile cap rotation dominates significantly more the response of the
system, but a significant reduction in either the pile cap rotation or deflection contribu-
tion to the response of the system is observed for the stiff soils. This is reasonable be-
cause, under low aspect ratios, the shear force imposed on the system is considerably
higher, which in turn imposes significantly higher shear force demands on the soil foun-
dation system. In this work the pile cap rotation, ⌬cap,␪, and deflection, ⌬cap,⌬, contribu-
tion to response of the system were computed by:

HC␪cap,U ⌬cap,U
µcap,␪ = ; µcap,⌬ = 共26兲
⌬yT ⌬yT
This study suggests that in the presence of stiff soils, the pile cap lateral deflection is
significantly reduced and the piles are well anchored by the skin friction resistance. In
contrast, in the presence of soft soils, the pile cap lateral deflection is increased and the
skin friction resistance diminishes significantly along the length of the piles.
NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 771

Figure 12. Contribution of pile cap rotation and deflection to system ductility.

Influence of Soil-Structure Interaction on System Ductility


Following on the discussion from the previous section, another important aspect in
seismic design is the overall influence of the nonlinear soil–structure interaction influ-
ence on the system ductility. Investigation of analytical results clearly shows that the
piles were subjected to some level of nonlinear actions (see Figure 13), which were
properly addressed in the system investigation. Once again, the nonlinear deformations
that develop in the piles are not possible to quantify in a separate component but instead
they are represented within the response of the pile cap rotation and deflection. In this
work the influence of the soil–structure interaction, µSSi, on the system displacement
ductility capacity was:

µ⌬,SSI = µ⌬C − µcol,⌬ 共27兲


Results from this analysis are shown in Figure 14, which indicate that for low aspect
ratios the contribution of soil–structure interaction is significant; however, under higher
aspect ratios there is a significant reduction, with almost negligible effects for stiff soils,
which matches conclusions previously discussed.

CONCLUSIONS
This paper summarizes a study on the inelastic seismic response of bridge columns
supported on a 4 ⫻ 4 pile group. The work presented includes three main sections which
described the nonlinear moment curvature relations of full moment connections CISS
772 P. F. SILVA AND M. T. MANZARI

Figure 13. Pile head moment-curvature results for soft soils and ␣C = 6.

Figure 14. Influence of soil-structure interaction on system ductility.


NONLINEAR PUSHOVER ANALYSIS OF BRIDGE COLUMNS 773

piles under different levels of axial load, modeling of a pile group consisting of the non-
linear response of the piles, soil and column, and discussion of relevant key findings.
Analytical results show that the soil–horizontal structure interaction affects significantly
the pile cap lateral deflection, and in contrast the vertical soil–structure interaction af-
fects significantly the pile cap rotation. Analytical studies were presented in this paper
that can serve to characterize the seismic performance of foundation systems consisting
of full-moment connections CISS piles. The following conclusions describe key findings
from this work:
1. Pile cap rotations and deformations are directly influenced by the soil’s stiff-
ness. Following on this conclusion, the horizontal spring positioned at the front
of the pile cap has minimum effect on the pile cap rotation, but they can be sig-
nificant in evaluating the pile cap lateral deflection.
2. The column aspect ratio plays a significant role in the performance of founda-
tion systems because under low aspect ratios the shear force imposed on the
structural system is considerably higher, which in turn imposes significantly
higher shear force demands on the soil foundation system. For stiff soils the
contribution of the soil-structure is significant for columns with aspect ratios
less than 6. For soft soils the contribution of the soil-structure is significantly
higher for aspect ratios less than 4 but this contribution is also of significance
for high aspect ratios.
In typical seismic design, the influence of pile foundation systems has often been
neglected or greatly simplified. Since the contribution of the pile foundation to the over-
all system response can be significant in the lateral response of bridge bents the work
presented in this paper quantifies for what levels of column aspect ratio the soil–
structure interaction can be of significance and for what levels should design engineers
and researchers employ a more refined soil structure interaction study.

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(Received 16 March 2005; accepted 21 May 2008兲

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