Retrofit of reinforced concrete frames with buckling-restrained braces

Christoph Mahrenholtz, Pao Chun Lin, An Chien Wu, Keh Chyuan Tsai, Shyh Jiann Hwang, Ruei Yan Lin, Muhammad Y. Bhayusukma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


Damage to buildings observed in recent earthquakes suggests that many old reinforced concrete structures may be vulnerable to the effects of severe earthquakes. One suitable seismic retrofit solution is the installation of steel braces to increase the strength and ductility of a building. Steel bracings have some compelling advantages such as their comparatively low weight, their suitability for prefabrication, and the possibility of openings for utilities, access, and light. The braces are typically connected to steel frames that are fixed to the concrete structure using post-installed concrete anchors along the perimeter. However, these framed steel braces are not without some disadvantages such as heavier steel usage and greater difficulties during the installation. Therefore, braces without steel frames appear to be an attractive alternative. In this study, braces were connected to gussets furnished with anchor brackets, which were fixed by means of a few post-installed concrete anchors. The clear structural system and the increased utilization of the anchors allowed the anchorage to be designed precisely and economically. The use of buckling-restrained braces (BRBs) provides additional benefits in comparison with conventional braces. BRBs improve the energy dissipation efficiency and allow the limitation of the brace force to be taken up by the highly stressed anchorage. Cyclic loading tests were conducted to investigate the seismic performance of BRBs connected with post-installed anchors used to retrofit reinforced concrete frames. The tests showed that the proposed design method is feasible and increases strength as well as ductility to an adequate seismic performance level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-78
Number of pages20
JournalEarthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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