Inelastic seismic response of precast concrete frames with constructed plastic hinges

A modified seismic design concept is introduced for precast concrete frames in which beam plastic hinges with reduced yield capacities are constructed away from the precast beam-column connections arranged at the column faces. Plastic hinge location and yield capacity are employed as the basic parameters of an analytical survey in which the inelastic dynamic responses of a conventional precast frame and its modified counterparts are calculated and compared under two earthquake excitations by using a general purpose computer program for dynamic analysis of inelastic frames [1, 2]. An optimum design is obtained by providing plastic hinges on precast beams located at one depth away from the beam ends, in which primary (negative) bending moment yield capacities are reduced between one-third and one-quarter of the beam design end moments. With such plastic hinge configurations, precast beam-column connections at the column faces can be designed to remain elastic under strong earthquake excitations.