Damping-Enhanced Strengthening: A Unique Way to Normalize the Seismic Performance of RC Bridges for Multiple Objectives


A damping-enhanced strengthening methodology can be implemented by integrating viscoelastic damping into a fiber reinforced polymer jacket for normalized performance objectives under various earthquakes. This methodology was applied to the Old St. Francis Bridge near the New Madrid Seismic Zone. A damping layer was represented by a series of discrete and complex springs in the finite element model of bridge columns. Numerical results indicated that a damping layer of 2.38 mm can effectively reduce the accelerations and displacements of the bridge. For the same amount of damping materials, retrofitting one end of the columns is more efficient than retrofitting both ends. The damping component ensures the operational level under moderate earthquakes and the strengthening component ensures the safety level under strong earthquakes. Together, they meet the multiple performance objectives under earthquakes of various intensities and can lead to an optimum performance design of the bridge.

Meeting Name

6th National Seismic Conference on Bridges and Highways: Seismic Technologies for Extreme Loads (2008: Jul. 28-30, Charleston, SC)


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bridge design; Damping (Engineering); Earthquake resistant design; Finite element method; Reinforced concrete bridges; Retrofitting; Structural analysis; Viscoplasticity

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type




Publication Date

01 Jul 2008