Peshawar (Khyber Mail): Engr. Mian Asfahan Ali Gul, under the guidance of Dr. Sajjad Wali Khan (Chairman, Department of Civil Engineering, UET Peshawar Jalozai Campus), has triumphantly defended his doctoral research titled “Performance Evaluation of Exterior Beam-Column Connections of Engineered Cementitious Composites under Seismic Loading.”

The study, funded by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan through the National Research Programme for Universities, marks a significant milestone in advancing structural engineering knowledge.

The primary objective of this research was to assess the seismic behavior of reinforced concrete (RC) moment-resisting frames. Specifically, it focused on beam-column (B-C) connections constructed using engineered cementitious composites (ECC).

The methodology involved creating twelve full-scale specimens for testing. One specimen adhered strictly to ACI 318 specifications for Special Moment Resisting Frames (SMRF), while the remaining eleven intentionally deviated from standards to simulate common construction defects prevalent in developing countries like Pakistan. ECC and high-strength concrete (HSC) were incorporated into the joint panels, extending to the plastic hinge length. Displacement transducers and strain gauges captured real-time data during load cycles.

The key findings revealed that ECC-enhanced connections exhibited superior seismic performance compared to conventional RC and HSC connections. Notable advantages included higher load-carrying capacity, better energy dissipation, and enhanced ductility. The study underscores ECC’s potential to enhance the structural resilience of buildings in seismic zones.

This pioneering effort provides valuable insights for practicing engineers, encouraging them to confidently adopt ECC in construction projects across Pakistan. By leveraging ECC, the industry can contribute to safer and more resilient structures, particularly in earthquake-prone regions.

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