After the occurrence of various destructive earthquakes in Japan, extensive efforts have been made to improve the seismic performance of bridges. Although improvements to the ductile capacities of reinforced concrete (RC) bridge piers have been developed over the past few decades, seismic resilience has not been adequately ensured. Simple ductile structures are not robust and exhibit a certain level of damage under extremely strong earthquakes, leading to large residual displacements and higher repair costs, which incur in societies with less-effective disaster response and recovery measures. To ensure the seismic resilience of bridges, it is necessary to continue developing the seismic design methodology of RC bridges by exploring new concepts while avoiding the use of expensive materials. Therefore, to maximize the postevent operability, a novel RC bridge pier with a low-cost sliding pendulum system is proposed. The seismic force is reduced as the upper component moves along a concave sliding surface atop the lower component of the RC bridge pier. No replaceable seismic devices are included to lengthen the natural period; only conventional concrete and steel are used to achieve low-cost design solutions. The seismic performance was evaluated through unidirectional shaking table tests. The experimental results demonstrated a reduction in the shear force transmitted to the substructure, and the residual displacement decreased by establishing an adequate radius of the sliding surface. Finally, a nonlinear dynamic analysis was performed to estimate the seismic response of the proposed RC bridge pier.
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