A new damage index for reinforced concrete structures

  • Cao, Vui V. (School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland) ;
  • Ronagh, Hamid R. (School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland) ;
  • Ashraf, Mahmud (School of Engineering and Information Technology UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Forces Academy Campbell) ;
  • Baji, Hassan (School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland)
  • Received : 2012.09.21
  • Accepted : 2014.02.20
  • Published : 2014.06.25


Reinforced concrete (RC) structures are likely to experience damage when subjected to earthquakes. Damage index (DI) has been recognised as an advanced tool of quantitatively expressing the extent of damage in such structures. Last 30 years have seen many concepts for DI proposed in order to calibrate the observed levels of damage. The current research briefly reviews all available concepts and investigates their relative merits and limitations with a view to proposing a new concept based on residual deformation. Currently available DIs are classified into two broad categories - non-cumulative DI and cumulative DI. Non-cumulative DIs do not include the effects of cyclic loading, whilst the cumulative concepts produce more rational indication of the level of damage in case of earthquake excitations. Ideally, a DI should vary within a scale of 0 to 1 with 0 representing the state of elastic response, and 1 referring to the state of total collapse. Some of the available DIs do not satisfy these criteria. A new DI based on energy is proposed herein and its performances, both for static and for cyclic loadings, are compared with those obtained using the most widely accepted DI in literature. The proposed DI demonstrates a rational way to predict the extent of damage for a number of case studies. More research is encouraged to address some identified issues.


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