Seismic behavior of precast structures

SAFECAST: A research project by the European Commission and the precast industry

The reinforced concrete precast constructions have been in use for more than half of the century and their seismic safety has been recognized as one of the most important issues. Surprisingly so, only limited research results related to seismic safety of precast structures are available, in particular in the field of efficient and reliable analytical models and tools. This situation can be partly explained by the fact that the predominant mechanisms of the seismic response of the connections in precast structures (i.e.
dowel action, shear slip, interlock shear, gap opening and closing, shear-bending interaction) are very difficult to model. Moreover, diversity of structural and technological solutions makes generalization of the research results even more difficult.

Caused by the slow development of new knowledge through limited research in comparison with the cast-in-situ systems, related standards for earthquake resistant design and construction of precast systems are still under development. From a general point of view, there are two alternatives to design precast structures. One choice is the use of the unique properties of precast concrete elements interconnected predominantly by dry connections, whereas the other alternative is the emulation of monolithic reinforced concrete construction. The emulation of the behavior of monolithic reinforced...

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