Special Issue "Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Civil Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 August 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Flavio Stochino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: concrete; fire; blast; impact; structures; recycled concrete; masonry; structural dynamics; computational mechanics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Daniel Honfi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Sweden
Interests: structural engineering; structural safety; robustness; resilience; serviceability of structures
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Exceptional design loads on buildings and structures may have different causes, including high-strain natural hazards, man-made attacks, and accidents, as well as extreme operational conditions (severe temperature variations, humidity, etc.). All of these aspects can be critical for specific structural typologies and/or materials that are particularly sensitive to external conditions. In this regard, dedicated and refined methods are required for their design, analysis, and maintenance under the expected life-time. Major challenges are related to their structural typology and material properties, with respect to the key features of the imposed design load. Further issues can be derived from the need for the mitigation or retrofit of existing structures, as well as from the optimal and safe design of innovative materials/systems. Finally, in some cases, no appropriate design recommendations are available, and thus experimental investigations can have a key role within the overall process.

In this Special Issue, we invite the publication of original research studies, review papers, and experimental and/or numerical investigations on the structural performance of buildings and structures (including the analysis at the material, component, or assembly level) under exceptional loads. Both new design projects or the retrofit and mitigation of existing structures will be of interest for the Special Issue.

Dr. Chiara Bedon
Dr. Flavio Stochino
Dr. Daniel Honfi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • structural analysis
  • extreme design loads
  • experiments
  • numerical modelling
  • safety
  • monitoring
  • mitigation

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Article
Case Study—An Extreme Example of Soil–Structure Interaction and the Damage Caused by Works on Foundation Strengthening
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 5201; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11115201 - 03 Jun 2021
Viewed by 456
Abstract
This paper describes the works on foundation strengthening of the towers of the Cathedral of St. Theresa of Avila in Subotica and the damages caused by these works. Strengthening was performed by means of jacked-in piles and deep soil injection. The construction of [...] Read more.
This paper describes the works on foundation strengthening of the towers of the Cathedral of St. Theresa of Avila in Subotica and the damages caused by these works. Strengthening was performed by means of jacked-in piles and deep soil injection. The construction of the Cathedral began in 1773 and it lasted for several decades with frequent interruptions and changes to the project. The present appearance of the facade was created in 1912. According to historic data, several years after construction, the cracks appeared on the front facade. With time, these cracks became more pronounced, and in 2015, when the remediation project started, the total width of major cracks reached about 15 cm. The first contemporary attempt to repair the towers was made in 2017 by inserting piles beneath the foundations. These works were interrupted due to increased settlements and the appearance of new cracks. In the second attempt, the strengthening was performed by deep injection of soil with expansive resins. During these works, settlements and damages intensified even more, causing the works to be halted in 2018. Analysis of the whole structure and revaluation of all the results, obtained from continuous monitoring of settlements and crack widths from the previous period, led to the new remediation proposal. The imperative was to retain the original appearance of the Cathedral facades while performing the total reconstruction of the upper sections of the front facade. This implies that the overall weight of the reconstructed parts is to be decreased, while the strength is to be increased. Strong structural connections are planned, both among the two towers, and between the towers and the nave. These clear structural solutions will lead to reduced stresses within the existing brick walls, reduced contact soil pressures and ceasing of increased settlements and tilting of the Cathedral towers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Investigation of the Time Dependence of Wind-Induced Aeroelastic Response on a Scale Model of a High-Rise Building
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(8), 3315; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11083315 - 07 Apr 2021
Viewed by 341
Abstract
Experimental wind tunnel test results are affected by acquisition times because extreme pressure peak statistics depend on the length of acquisition records. This is also true for dynamic tests on aeroelastic models where the structural response of the scale model is affected by [...] Read more.
Experimental wind tunnel test results are affected by acquisition times because extreme pressure peak statistics depend on the length of acquisition records. This is also true for dynamic tests on aeroelastic models where the structural response of the scale model is affected by aerodynamic damping and by random vortex shedding. This paper investigates the acquisition time dependence of linear transformation through singular value decomposition (SVD) and its correlation with floor accelerometric signals acquired during wind tunnel aeroelastic testing of a scale model high-rise building. Particular attention was given to the variability of eigenvectors, singular values and the correlation coefficient for two wind angles and thirteen different wind velocities. The cumulative distribution function of empirical magnitudes was fitted with numerical cumulative density function (CDF). Kolmogorov–Smirnov test results are also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Short-Term Analysis of Adhesive Types and Bonding Mistakes on Bonded-in-Rod (BiR) Connections for Timber Structures
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 2665; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11062665 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 425
Abstract
Bonded-in rods (BiR) represent a structural connection type that is largely used for new timber structures and rehabilitation (repair or reinforcement) of existing structural members. The technology is based on steel / Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) / Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) rods [...] Read more.
Bonded-in rods (BiR) represent a structural connection type that is largely used for new timber structures and rehabilitation (repair or reinforcement) of existing structural members. The technology is based on steel / Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) / Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP) rods bonded into predrilled holes in timber elements. The mechanical advantages of BiRs include high local force capacity, improved strength, a relatively high stiffness and the possibility of ductile behaviour. They also offer aesthetic benefits, given that rods are hidden in the cross sections of wooden members. As such, BiR connections are regarded as a solution with great potential, but still uncertain design formulations. Several research projects have dealt with BiRs, but a final definition of their mechanics and a universal design procedure is still missing. This research study explores the typical fracture mechanics modes for BiR connections. A special focus is given to the evaluation of the impact of adhesive bonds under various operational conditions (i.e., moisture content of timber). A total of 84 specimens are tested in pull-out setup, and investigated with the support of digital image correlation (DIC). The reliability of empirical equations and a newly developed analytical model in support of design, based on linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM), is also assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Experimental Study on the Behavior of Existing Reinforced Concrete Multi-Column Piers under Earthquake Loading
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(6), 2652; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11062652 - 16 Mar 2021
Viewed by 412
Abstract
When a seismic force acts on bridges, the pier can be damaged by the horizontal inertia force of the superstructure. To prevent this failure, criteria for seismic reinforcement details have been developed in many design codes. However, in moderate seismicity regions, many existing [...] Read more.
When a seismic force acts on bridges, the pier can be damaged by the horizontal inertia force of the superstructure. To prevent this failure, criteria for seismic reinforcement details have been developed in many design codes. However, in moderate seismicity regions, many existing bridges were constructed without considering seismic detail because the detailed seismic design code was only applied recently. These existing structures should be retrofitted by evaluating their seismic performance. Even if the seismic design criteria are not applied, it cannot be concluded that the structure does not have adequate seismic performance. In particular, the performance of a lap-spliced reinforcement bar at a construction joint applied by past practices cannot be easily evaluated analytically. Therefore, experimental tests on the bridge piers considering a non-seismic detail of existing structures need to be performed to evaluate the seismic performance. For this reason, six small scale specimens according to existing bridge piers were constructed and seismic performances were evaluated experimentally. The three types of reinforcement detail were adjusted, including a lap-splice for construction joints. Quasi-static loading tests were performed for three types of scale model with two-column piers in both the longitudinal and transverse directions. From the test results, the effect on the failure mechanism of the lap-splice and transverse reinforcement ratio were investigated. The difference in failure characteristics according to the loading direction was investigated by the location of plastic hinges. Finally, the seismic capacity related to the displacement ductility factor and the absorbed energy by hysteresis behavior for each test were obtained and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Application of Component-Based Mechanical Models and Artificial Intelligence to Bolted Beam-to-Column Connections
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2297; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052297 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 415
Abstract
Top and seat beam-to-column connections are commonly designed to transfer gravitational loads of simply supported steel beams. Nevertheless, the flexural resistance characteristics of these type of connections should be properly taken into account for design, when a reliable analysis of semi-rigid steel structures [...] Read more.
Top and seat beam-to-column connections are commonly designed to transfer gravitational loads of simply supported steel beams. Nevertheless, the flexural resistance characteristics of these type of connections should be properly taken into account for design, when a reliable analysis of semi-rigid steel structures is desired. In this research paper, different component-based mechanical models from Eurocode 3 (EC3) and a literature proposal (by Kong and Kim, 2017) are considered to evaluate the initial stiffness (Sj,ini) and ultimate moment capacity (Mn) of top-seat angle connections with double web angles (TSACWs). An optimized artificial neural network (ANN) model based on the artificial bee colony (ABC) algorithm is proposed in this paper to acquire an informational model from the available literature database of experimental test measurements on TSACWs. In order to evaluate the expected effect of each input parameter (such as the thickness of top flange cleat, the bolt size, etc.) on the mechanical performance and overall moment–rotation (M–θ) response of the selected connections, a sensitivity analysis is presented. The collected comparative results prove the potential of the optimized ANN approach for TSACWs, as well as its accuracy and reliability for the prediction of the characteristic (M–θ) features of similar joints. For most of the examined configurations, higher accuracy is found from the ANN estimates, compared to Eurocode 3- or Kong et al.-based formulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Influence of Additional Bracing Arms as Reinforcement Members in Wooden Timber Cross-Arms on Their Long-Term Creep Responses and Properties
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(5), 2061; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11052061 - 26 Feb 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 441
Abstract
Previously, numerous creep studies on wood materials have been conducted in various coupon-scale tests. None had conducted research on creep properties of full-scale wooden cross-arms under actual environment and working load conditions. Hence, this research established findings on effect of braced arms on [...] Read more.
Previously, numerous creep studies on wood materials have been conducted in various coupon-scale tests. None had conducted research on creep properties of full-scale wooden cross-arms under actual environment and working load conditions. Hence, this research established findings on effect of braced arms on the creep behaviors of Virgin Balau (Shorea dipterocarpaceae) wood timber cross-arm in 132 kV latticed tower. In this research, creep properties of the main members of both current and braced wooden cross-arm designs were evaluated under actual working load conditions at 1000 h. The wooden cross-arm was assembled on a custom-made creep test rig at an outdoor area to simulate its long-term mechanical behaviours under actual environment of tropical climate conditions. Further creep numerical analyses were also performed by using Findley and Burger models in order to elaborate the transient creep, elastic and viscoelastic moduli of both wooden cross-arm configurations. The findings display that the reinforcement of braced arms in cross-arm structure significantly reduced its creep strain. The inclusion of bracing system in cross-arm structure enhanced transient creep and stress independent material exponent of the wooden structure. The addition of braced arms also improved elastic and viscoelastic moduli of wooden cross-arm structure. Thus, the outcomes suggested that the installation of bracing system in wooden cross-arm could extend the structure’s service life. Subsequently, this effort would ease maintenance and reduce cost for long-term applications in transmission towers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Numerical Analysis-Based Blast Resistance Performance Assessment of Cable-Stayed Bridge Components Subjected to Blast Loads
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(23), 8511; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10238511 - 28 Nov 2020
Viewed by 506
Abstract
Cable-stayed bridges are infrastructure facilities of a highly public nature; therefore, it is essential to ensure operational safety and prompt response in the event of a collapse or damage, which are caused by natural and social disasters. Among social disasters, blast accidents can [...] Read more.
Cable-stayed bridges are infrastructure facilities of a highly public nature; therefore, it is essential to ensure operational safety and prompt response in the event of a collapse or damage, which are caused by natural and social disasters. Among social disasters, blast accidents can occur in cable-stayed bridges as a result of explosions produced by vehicle collisions or terrorist attacks; this can lead to the degradation in their structural performances and subsequent collapse. In this research, a procedure to assess structural blast-resistance performance is suggested based on a numerical analysis approach, and the feasibility of the procedure is demonstrated by performing an example assessment. The suggested procedure includes (1) selection of major structural components that severely affect the global structural behavior, (2) set-up blast hazard scenarios consisting of various blast levels and locations, and (3) assessment of the components using numerical blast simulation. By performing an example assessment, the critical blast level for each component could be determined and the blast location that affects the considering components the most severely could be found as well. The scenario-based assessment process employed in this study is expected to facilitate the evaluation of bridge structures under blasts in both existing bridges and future designs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Numerical Investigation of the Collapse of a Steel Truss Roof and a Probable Reason of Failure
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(21), 7769; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10217769 - 03 Nov 2020
Viewed by 572
Abstract
This study investigated the failure of the roof, with steel truss construction, of a factory building in Tekirdag in the northwestern part of Turkey. The failure occurred under hefty weather conditions including lightning strikes, heavy rain, and fierce winds. In order to interpret [...] Read more.
This study investigated the failure of the roof, with steel truss construction, of a factory building in Tekirdag in the northwestern part of Turkey. The failure occurred under hefty weather conditions including lightning strikes, heavy rain, and fierce winds. In order to interpret the reason for the failure, the effects of different combinations of factors on the design and dimensioning of the roof were studied. Finite element analysis, using the commercial software Abaqus (Dassault Systèmes, Vélizy-Villacoublay, France), was performed several times under different assumptions and considering different factors with the aim of determining the dominant factors that were responsible for the failure. Each loading condition gives out a characteristic form of failure. The scenario with the most similar form of failure to the real collapse is considered as the most likely scenario of failure. In addition, the factors included in this scenario are expected to be the responsible factors for the partial collapse of the steel truss structure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Study on Dynamic Behavior of Bridge Pier by Impact Load Test Considering Scour
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(19), 6741; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10196741 - 26 Sep 2020
Viewed by 616
Abstract
In this study, for the establishment of a safety evaluation method, non-destructive tests were performed by developing a full-scale model pier and simulating scour on the ground adjacent to a field pier. The surcharge load (0–250 kN) was applied to the full-scale model [...] Read more.
In this study, for the establishment of a safety evaluation method, non-destructive tests were performed by developing a full-scale model pier and simulating scour on the ground adjacent to a field pier. The surcharge load (0–250 kN) was applied to the full-scale model pier to analyze the load’s effect on the stability. For analyzing the pier’s behavior according to the impact direction, an impact was applied in the bridge axis direction, pier length direction, and pier’s outside direction. The impact height corresponded to the top of the pier. A 1-m deep scour was simulated along one side of the ground, which was adjacent to the pier foundation. The acceleration was measured using accelerometers when an impact was applied. The natural frequency, according to the impact direction and surcharge load, was calculated using a fast Fourier transform (FFT). In addition, the first mode (vibratory), second mode (vibratory), and third modes (torsion) were analyzed according to the pier behavior using the phase difference, and the effect of the scour occurrence on the natural frequency was analyzed. The first mode was most affected by the surcharge load and scour. The stability of the pier can be determined using the second mode, and the direction of the scour can be determined using the third mode. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Mechanical Characterization of Timber-to-Timber Composite (TTC) Joints with Self-Tapping Screws in a Standard Push-Out Setup
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(18), 6534; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10186534 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 611
Abstract
Self-tapping screws (STSs) can be efficiently used in various fastening solutions for timber constructions and are notoriously able to offer high stiffness and load-carrying capacity, compared to other timber-to-timber composite (TTC) joint typologies. The geometrical and mechanical characterization of TTC joints, however, is [...] Read more.
Self-tapping screws (STSs) can be efficiently used in various fastening solutions for timber constructions and are notoriously able to offer high stiffness and load-carrying capacity, compared to other timber-to-timber composite (TTC) joint typologies. The geometrical and mechanical characterization of TTC joints, however, is often hard and uncertain, due to a combination of various influencing parameters and mechanical aspects. Among others, the effects of friction phenomena between the system components and their reciprocal interaction under the imposed design loads can remarkably influence the final estimates on structural capacity, in the same way of possible variations in the boundary conditions. The use of Finite Element (FE) numerical models is well-known to represent a robust tool and a valid alternative to costly and time consuming experiments and allows one to further explore the selected load-bearing components at a more refined level. Based on previous research efforts, this paper presents an extended FE investigation based on full three-dimensional (3D) brick models and surface-based cohesive zone modelling (CZM) techniques. The attention is focused on the mechanical characterization of small-scale TTC specimens with inclined STSs having variable configurations, under a standard push-out (PO) setup. Based on experimental data and analytical models of literature, an extended parametric investigation is presented and correlation formulae are proposed for the analysis of maximum resistance and stiffness variations. The attention is then focused on the load-bearing role of the steel screws, as an active component of TTC joints, based on the analysis of sustained resultant force contributions. The sensitivity of PO numerical estimates to few key input parameters of technical interest, including boundaries, friction and basic damage parameters, is thus discussed in the paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Article
Prediction of Damage Level of Slab-Column Joints under Blast Load
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(17), 5837; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10175837 - 23 Aug 2020
Viewed by 606
Abstract
The behavior of a slab-column joint subjected to blast loads was studied by numerical analysis using a general-purpose finite element analysis program, LS-DYNA. Under the explosive load, the joint region known as the stress disturbed zone was defined as a region with a [...] Read more.
The behavior of a slab-column joint subjected to blast loads was studied by numerical analysis using a general-purpose finite element analysis program, LS-DYNA. Under the explosive load, the joint region known as the stress disturbed zone was defined as a region with a scaled distance of 0.1 m/kg1/3 or less through comparison with ConWep’s empirical formula. Displacement and support rotation according to Trinitrotoluene (TNT) weight and scaled distance were investigated by dividing in and out of the joint region. In addition, fracture volume was newly proposed as an evaluation factor for blast-resistant performance, and it was confirmed that the degree of damage to a member due to blast loads was well represented by the fracture volume. Finally, a prediction equation for the blast-resistant performance of the slab-column joint was proposed, and the reliability and accuracy of the equation were verified through additional numerical analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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Review

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Review
An Overview of Progressive Collapse Behavior of Steel Beam-to-Column Connections
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(17), 6003; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10176003 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 839
Abstract
Local failure of one or more components due to abnormal loading can induce the progressive collapse of a building structure. In this study, by the aid of available full-scale test results on double-span systems subjected to the middle column loss scenario, an extensive [...] Read more.
Local failure of one or more components due to abnormal loading can induce the progressive collapse of a building structure. In this study, by the aid of available full-scale test results on double-span systems subjected to the middle column loss scenario, an extensive parametric study was performed to investigate the effects of different design parameters on progressive collapse performance of beam-to-column connections, i.e., beam span-to-depth ratio, catenary mechanism, and connection robustness. The selected full-scale double-span assemblies consisted of fully rigid (welded flange-welded web, SidePlate), semi-rigid (flush end-plate, extended end-plate), and flexible connections (top and seat angle, web cleat). The test results, including load-deformation responses, development of the catenary mechanism, and connection robustness, are presented in detail. The finding of this research further enables a comprehensive comparison between different types of steel beam-to-column connections since the effects of span-to-depth ratio and beam sections were filtered out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Buildings and Structures under Extreme Loads II)
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