Active confinement of reinforced concrete bridge columns using shape memory alloys

Bassem O Andrawes, Moochul Shin, Nicholas Wierschem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents experimental and analytical work conducted to explore the feasibility of using an innovative technique for seismic retrofitting of RC bridge columns using shape memory alloys (SMAs) spirals. The high recovery stress associated with the shape recovery of SMAs is being sought in this study as an easy and reliable method to apply external active confining pressure on RC bridge columns to improve their ductility. Uniaxial compression tests of concrete cylinders confined with SMA spirals show a significant improvement in the concrete strength and ductility even under small confining pressure. The experimental results are used to calibrate the concrete constitutive model used in the analytical study. Analytical models of bridge columns retrofitted with SMA spirals and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets are studied under displacement-controlled cyclic loading and a suite of strong earthquake records. The analytical results proves the superiority of the proposed technique using SMA spirals to CFRP sheets in terms of enhancing the strength and effective stiffness and reducing the concrete damage and residual drifts of retrofitted columns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bridge Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Bridges
  • Concrete columns
  • Confinement
  • Ductility
  • Seismic retrofitting
  • Shape memory alloys
  • Spirals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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