Quantifying the effects of epoxy repair of reinforced concrete plastic hinges
Modern reinforced concrete structures are typically designed to form plastic hinges during strong earthquakes. In post-earthquake situations, repair of moderate plastic hinging damage can be undertaken by filling the crack system with epoxy resin and reconstituting spalled cover concrete. This study uses available experimental test data, including three large-scale ductile beams tested by the authors, to investigate the effects of epoxy repair on the structural behaviour of plastic hinges, with a focus on beam elements. Factors that have been neglected in past studies, including the effects of residual deformations at the time of repair, are given special attention. It is found that epoxy-repaired plastic hinges can exhibit different behaviour from identical undamaged components in terms of stiffness, strength, deformation capacity, and axial elongation. Potential explanations for the observed differences in behaviour are given, and recommendations are made for how these differences can be quantified in order to relate the expected response of an epoxy-repaired plastic hinge to the response that would be calculated for an identical undamaged component.
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