Dr. Ali Sahin Tasligedik was invited to give a presentation at the 16th World Conference of Earthquake Engineering...
Held every four years in 'earthquake international hot spots', the World Conference on Earthquake Engineering (WCEE) bring the best minds ‘in the business’ together on a global stage, to present and share the latest in earthquake resilience research.
Dr. Ali Sahin Tasligedik, Earthquake Research Engineer for the Quake Centre at the University of Canterbury was in attendance at this year's sixteenth (16WCEE), run over five days from the 9th-13th January 2017, in Santiago, Chile.
Dr. Tasligedik presented results from his research paper, in collaboration with Dr. Umut Akguzel, from the United Kingdom) entitled - Design of FRP (fibre reinforced polymer) RC (reinforced concrete) Beam-Column Joints Using Strength Hierarchy Assessment Method.
The crux of their research is that the structural stability of a building during seismic activity is strongly dependent on the integrity of the RC beam-column joints, and the lack thereof in pre-1970s RC buildings.
“A huge challenge for earthquake engineers around the world today is the massive stock of seismically vulnerable buildings, resulting in globally compromised earthquake resilience.”
Past studies (Akguzel 2011) show that FRP’s can be effectively used for strengthening beam-column joints, before damage (like that caused by an earthquake) occurs.
“Our study focusses primarily on older buildings (pre-1970) that aren’t up to todays seismic code,” explains Dr. Tasligedik.
Though in the case of some developing countries, it’s an issue with post 1970’s builds too - due to the lack of proper regulation and control during construction. Therefore, codes have been compromised and buildings remain vulnerable.
“If you think of a building like a skeleton, and say, the knee joint is injured, then it’s weight bearing capacity is diminished. It’s the same with a building - a damaged joint, weakens the load bearing ability and moves stresses to other areas, undermining the overall integrity of the structure.”
“The good news is, in these instances it is possible to retrofit with FRP, essentially wrapping and strengthening the joint of a building so that it is less vulnerable during a seismic event. Like bandaging a knee to prevent injury during exercise.”
However, FRP is an expensive method and to date there were not many practical methods available to the practicing engineers for FRP application at RC beam-column joints.
Dr. Tasligedik and Dr. Akguzel’s paper presents a simplified version of complicated methods to benefit industry use. The simplified calculation method results in an accurate and efficient estimation of the additional capacity due to the FRP beam-column joint strengthening scheme.
“Using this method, engineers can see immediately if FRP joint strengthening is the solution to their industry project, rather than having to wait long and costly months to find out otherwise later,” says Dr. Tasligedik.
“We’ve had great feedback on our research. The methods associated with this work are easy and fast to carry out with good accuracy, it’s simplicity really helps industry engineers. However, as with everything else, there is a learning curve initially, but which pays off later.”
Read about Dr. Tasligedik other responsibility at the 16WCEE, travelling with a statue of the Māori mythological god of earthquakes and volcanoes - Rūaumoko.