Seismic performance of reinforced concrete interior beam-column joints with novel reinforcement detail

Xinyu Shen, Bo Li, Yung Tsang Chen, Walid Tizani

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Horizontal stirrups are normally required in reinforced concrete (RC) beam-column joints (BCJs) for resisting shear forces in seismic design. For RC moment-resisting frames subjected to a high lateral load, a large number of stirrups are needed in joint cores. This may cause reinforcement congestion, leading to construction difficulty and insufficient concrete compaction, which can result in poor seismic performance. In this study, a novel reinforcement detail in the form of unbonded diagonal bars mechanically anchored at beam ends is proposed for RC interior BCJs. The detail alleviates the reinforcement congestion through partially replacing horizontal stirrups, and improves the seismic performance of BCJs by plastic hinge relocation and input shear force reduction mechanisms. Four 2/3-scale RC interior BCJ specimens were prepared and tested under quasi-static cyclic load, including one specimen designed with the current code and three specimens adopting the proposed reinforcement detail. Test results show that the proposed reinforcement detail is able to relocate the plastic hinges away from beam-joint interfaces as well as improve the loading capacity, energy dissipation capacity, stiffness, and bonding condition of beam reinforcements within the cores of BCJs. The combined use of stirrups and the proposed reinforcement detail significantly enhances the cracking resistance and reduces joint distortion, while additional amount of stirrups results in a marginal improvement. Moreover, an analytical model considering plastic hinge relocation and input joint shear force reduction is proposed for BCJs with the novel reinforcement detail. The model can adequately predict the failure mode and loading capacity of BCJ specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111408
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2021


  • Beam-column joints
  • Diagonal bars
  • Plastic hinge relocation
  • Reinforced concrete
  • Seismic performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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