This project developed a class of innovative V-connectors, based on a theoretical model and 3D finite element computations for benchmark bridges with AASHTO LRFD design codes, for use as joints between bridge pier and superstructure or between pier and footing, facilitating accelerated bridge construction and providing robustness for needed seismic resistance. Two design subgroups, fixed-end pin (FP) and hinge-end pin (HP), were further developed. In both designs, the top part of the connector was directly mounted onto the bottom surface of a bridge, which is similar to a conventional bearing pod. Two groups of specimens with the HP design were fabricated and tested at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center at the University of California–Berkeley and a bridge laboratory in China with a 2-degree hybrid-like test. The test involved analytical modeling of the superstructure behavior and experimental testing of the substructure with the V-connectors. The tests demonstrated that the V-connectors do present the hysteresis behavior for seismic isolation, providing the expected seismic resistance performance for bridge engineering applications. Preliminary results for safety evaluation performed by applying load exceeding the design capacity indicated that the V-connectors provided the expected capacity for overloading.
The final report is available.