The mission of PCI Research and Development includes identifying, funding, and executing programs necessary to advance the industry and disseminating the results of these projects. The PCI Research and Development Council works toward this mission in three ways:

  • Collaboration with other research entities.

The R&D Council maintains a list of research needs of the industry. This list is primarily for the benefit of Daniel P. Jenny Fellowship applicants, but is available for any researcher interested in precast or precast, prestressed concrete. Members are also encouraged to submit new ideas for research when knowledge gaps are identified.

PCI Research and Development has several projects that are in progress or that have been recently completed. The following is a partial list of those projects.

Current Projects and Programs

Acceptance Criteria for Prestressing Strand - The NASP Standard Test for Strand Bond was aopted as ASTM 1081. The goal of this project is to establish a minimum threshold pullout value for that test. The work includes ruggedness testing, round robin pullout tests and beam flexural tests. The work is being done at Kansas State University.

Completed Projects and Programs

Seismic Drift Compatibility of Architectural Precast Concrete Panels and Connections: A Design Guide for Engineers – A five story, full scale building was tested on the shake table at the University of California San Diego. The two top stories were clad with precast concrete panels. There were three objectives for examining the performance of the panels; sliding connections, flexing connections, and corner joints. PCI appreciates that significant funding for this project was provided by the Charles Pankow Foundation. As a result of the research, a design guide was prepared with recommendations that address the three objectives. The design guide is available for download. A video of the shake table testing may also be viewed at the on University of California San Diego's website

Diaphragm Seismic Design Methodology – This project was recently completed by a consortium of the University of Arizona, Lehigh University, and the University of California San Diego. The project goal was to better understand the behavior of precast concrete diaphragms subject to earthquake forces. The work included testing of connections, analysis incorporating connection behavior, and a one-half scale shake table test. The design methodology developed is being considered for codification by the Building Seismic Safety Council and for acceptance by the ICC Evaluation Service.

Rational Design Methodology for Slender Spandrels – Current design requirements include use of closed stirrups for torsion in spandrels subject to eccentric load such as those commonly used in parking structures. The research determined that the behavior of these spandrels was primarily out of plane bending and closed stirrups are not required. Two papers describing the research and the resulting design methodology are available- Part 1: Experimental Resultsand Part 2: Analysis and Design Guidelines. ACI 318-14 will include an exception on closed stirrups for spandrels meeting certain criteria.