Vol 7, No. 2 – Summer 2005

Retrofit of RC Frames Using FRP Jacketing or Steel Bracing
T. El-Amoury and A. Ghobarah

During recent seismic events, non-ductile failure modes of many existing structures occurred. Retrofit of these structures before the earthquake provides a feasible cost-effective approach to reduce the hazard to occupants’ safety and owners’ investment. The response of two reinforced concrete frames was examined under seismic excitation. The 9-storey and 18-storey frames are part of the lateral load resisting system in two office buildings that were designed according to the 1960s code provisions. The frames were analyzed assuming flexible joint response by considering the joint shear deformation or assuming traditional rigid joints. Two rehabilitation techniques were proposed to improve the dynamic response of these frames. Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) jackets were used as a local rehabilitation technique to enhance the joint shear strength and ductility. As another option, X-steel braces were installed in the middle bay of the frame along its height as an alternate lateral load resisting system. For each frame, failure sequence and interstorey drift were examined. It was found that FRP wrapping eliminated the brittle failure modes without significant change in the structural response. However, steel bracing significantly contributed to the structural stiffness and reduced the maximum interstorey drift of the frames.

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