Performance of Sacrificial Exterior Shear Keys under Simulated Seismic Loading


Performance evaluation of sacrificial exterior shear keys under simulated seismic loading is presented in this paper. The performance evaluation was conducted in terms of damage levels observed during testing. The experimental program consisted of six experiments, and the variables investigated during testing were; (1) inclusion and exclusion of back and wing walls to determine influence of these walls in the seismic response of the shear keys, (2) adoption of different design details such as the use of sacrificial flexural keys, and (3) prestressing of the abutments with the main objective of decreasing damage propagation into the abutment walls. These experiments provided results that were used to make realistic assumptions of the load-deformation response of sacrificial exterior shear keys as well as their post-peak performance under cyclic loads. Experimental and analytical results were also used to develop a hysteretic model for exterior sacrificial shear keys at the abutments. The development of this hysteretic model is also discussed in the paper.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Abutments; Capacity protection; Sacrificial shear keys; Seismic performance; Shear friction; Shear sliding

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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Publication Date

26 Sep 2002

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