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by Bismarck N. Luna and Andrew S. Whittaker

walls were built and tested under reversed cyclic loading at the

University at Buffalo. One of the objectives of the research project

was to develop improved predictive equations for the peak shear

strength of low-aspect-ratio RC walls, suitable for inclusion in

design standards such as ACI 318 and ACI 349. Information on

load paths gathered from patterns of concrete cracking, strains on

reinforcement, and strain fields enabled the development of new

predictive equations for peak shear strength.

Keywords: load paths; peak shear strength; reinforced concrete; shear walls.

INTRODUCTION

Low-aspect-ratio reinforced concrete (RC) shear walls

(height-to-length ratio of 2 and less) are widely used in low-

and medium-rise buildings and in safety-related nuclear struc-

tures to resist lateral wind and seismic loadings. Code-based

design and seismic performance (risk) assessment require the

hysteretic response and peak shear strength to be accurately

characterized. Equations are available in the literature and in

standards of practice to predict the nominal shear strength of

low-aspect-ratio RC walls, but these equations are inaccurate

and insufficiently parameterized (refer to Gulec et al. [2008]

and Del Carpio Ramos et al. [2012] for details).

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a

research project on low-aspect-ratio shear walls of conven-

tional and composite construction to improve the profes-

sion’s understanding of their cyclic inelastic response.

Sixteen rectangular (or planar), low-aspect-ratio concrete Fig. 1—Photographs of SW8 and SW11 during testing.

shear walls were built and tested at the University at Buffalo PEAK STRENGTH OF SHEAR-CRITICAL RC

(UB): 12 conventionally reinforced concrete walls (Luna WALLS

et al. 2015, 2018) and four steel-plate concrete composite The data collected from the 12 RC walls tested at UB

walls (Epackachi et al. 2015). Two RC shear walls were built enabled the tracking of load paths from the point of force

and tested using hybrid simulation at the University of Cali- application to the foundation. Luna et al. (2018) describes

fornia, Berkeley (Whyte and Stojadinovic 2013). the experimental program in significant detail and only

The transducers used in the UB experiments on RC walls information relevant to calculations of peak shear strength

helped identify the flow of forces through the walls and thus is included herein. The 12 shear walls were identified as

determine contributions to peak shear strength. The identifica- SW1 through SW12. Figure 1 presents photographs of SW8

tion of load paths enabled the development of new predictive and SW11 during testing; the light-emitting diodes (LEDs)

equations for peak strength of rectangular, shear-critical RC that were part of the non-contact coordinate measurement

walls, without and with boundary elements contained within the system can be seen on the surface of the walls. The peak

web of the wall. Much additional information is documented in shear strength and corresponding average shear stress in

Luna (2015), Luna et al. (2018), and Rivera et al. (2018). the first and third quadrants of loading of the 12 UB walls

are reported in Table 1. Figure 2 presents the nominal shear

RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE

Data obtained from tests of 12 low-aspect-ratio rectan-

ACI Structural Journal, V. 116, No. 2, March 2019.

gular RC walls, without and with boundary elements, were MS No. S-2018-145, doi: 10.14359/51712280, was received April 26, 2018, and

used to develop predictive equations for peak strength of reviewed under Institute publication policies. Copyright © 2019, American Concrete

Institute. All rights reserved, including the making of copies unless permission is

shear-critical walls, suitable for inclusion, after simplifica- obtained from the copyright proprietors. Pertinent discussion including author’s

closure, if any, will be published ten months from this journal’s date if the discussion

tion in design standards such as ACI 318 and ACI 349. is received within four months of the paper’s print publication.

Table 1—Peak shear strength lated from non-contact coordinate measuring LEDs, and

First quadrant Third quadrant Average

cracking patterns were used to develop free-body diagrams

of different segments of the walls and to estimate the magni-

Peak Average Peak Average

tude of the forces in reinforcement and the strains in concrete.

force, shear stress force shear stress Peak force,

Wall kip (× √fc′) (kip) (× √fc′) kip

MOEHLE’S EQUATION FOR PEAK SHEAR

SW1 253 4.4 249 4.3 251

STRENGTH

SW2 563 7.0 490 6.1 526 Moehle (2015) presents an expression to estimate the peak

SW3 468 5.5 381 4.5 423 shear strength of a low-aspect-ratio RC wall. The derivation

SW4 226 3.6 216 3.5 221 assumes an idealized pattern of cracking and the free-body

diagrams of Fig. 3. The equation for peak shear strength is

SW5 726 11.5 547 8.7 633

SW6 571 9.6 411 6.9 491 1

Vn = ( N u + ρl f y Acv ) (1)

SW7 318 5.4 277 4.7 297 tan θ

SW8 623 11.0 546 9.6 584

SW9 622 9.9 633 10.1 627

where Vn is the peak shear strength; Nu is the total axial

load; ρl is the vertical reinforcement ratio; Acv is the gross

SW10 495 7.6 528 8.1 512

cross-sectional area of the wall; and θ is the angle of the crack

SW11 424 6.2 408 6.0 416 with respect to the horizontal. The stress in the horizontal

SW12 365 5.4 416 6.1 391 and vertical reinforcement at peak strength is assumed to be

the yield value fy. Horizontal reinforcement stressed to fy is

Note: 1 kip = 4.45 kN.

assumed in the derivation, although Eq. (1) does not include

it explicitly. Moehle recognized the role of distributed hori-

zontal reinforcement for equilibrium of segment c-d-e in

Fig. 3(c) and in transferring lateral forces from this segment

to the remainder of the wall. This equation is suitable for

walls with a very low aspect ratio. Additional analysis of the

Moehle derivation is provided in Luna et al. (2018).

The Moehle equation provides insight into load paths

in low-aspect-ratio walls at peak lateral strength. Here-

after, the derivation is extended to accommodate all shear-

critical, rectangular walls, without and with boundary

elements contained within the web of the wall, made possible

by analysis of cracking patterns, strain gauge data, and strain

fields derived from LED ata, all obtained from the testing of

12 RC shear walls at UB.

WALLS

Fringes of shear strain and patterns of cracking at

Fig. 2—Measured and predicted peak shear strength of 12 peak strength

UB walls (Luna et al. 2015). (Note: 1 kip = 4.45 kN.) Figure 4 presents fringes of shear strain and patterns of

cracking in SW8 and SW11 at peak strength, which are

strength of the 12 walls calculated using equations from representative of fringes and patterns of walls without and

Chapters 11 and 18 of ACI 318-14, Barda et al. (1977), with boundary elements, respectively. The fringes of shear

Wood (1990), Gulec and Whittaker (2011), and the measured strain and patterns of cracking in all 12 walls are presented

peak shear strength from Luna et al. (2015). (The measured in Chapter 4 of Luna et al. (2018).

peak strength reported in the figure is the greater of the peak

strengths in the first and third quadrants.) Luna et al. (2015) Walls without boundary elements

described the accuracy of these predictive equations and that Figure 5(a) identifies three segments of the walls without

discussion is not repeated herein. As noted in Luna et al. boundary elements with significantly different strains at

(2015): 1) there is a significant scatter in the predictions of peak strength and the corresponding idealized patterns of

peak shear strength; and 2) none of the equations are partic- cracking and forces. The shear strains at peak shear strength

ularly suitable for either design or performance assessment. in Segment B are substantially greater than those in Segments

Data from the tests of these 12 RC walls, as described in A and C. The toe of the wall shown in the bottom left corner

Chapters 3 and 4 of Luna et al. (2018), were used to derive of Segment A (open red circle) can resist compression and

predictive equations for peak strength of shear-critical RC shearing forces because the inclined cracks do not propagate

walls without and with boundary elements. Data from strain to the corner. The distance from the bottom end of the wall

gauges, strain distributions on the faces of the walls calcu- to the bottom of the diagonal crack in Segment A is denoted

Fig. 3—Idealized forces on a low-aspect-ratio RC wall (Moehle [2015], reproduced with permission from McGraw-Hill

Education).

c. The patterns of concrete cracking at peak shear strength 3. The strain in the horizontal reinforcement of Walls SW2

in SW3 and SW8 are shown in Fig. 6, with length c high- through SW10 was greatest in the midsection of the walls

lighted with an open red circle. Segment B is divided into and relatively small at the ends. The strains in Segments A

three representative concrete compression struts (or simply of SW2 through SW10, as calculated using LED data, were

struts) in Fig. 5(a). (The number can be less or more than relatively small.

3.) Variables p and v represent the axial load per unit length The free-body diagram of Segment B of the wall is shown

and shear force per unit length at the centerline of horizontal in Fig. 7. Actions Fv and Fh are the total forces carried by

loading, respectively. No axial load was applied to the 12 the vertical and horizontal reinforcement, respectively, that

walls tested at UB and their self-weight is insignificant for cross a diagonal crack. Action Fs is the force associated

the purpose of calculations of shear strength. Cracks are with aggregate interlock. Variable x is the horizontal projec-

assumed to propagate at a constant angle θ with respect to tion of the width of the strut. Summing moments about the

the horizontal. Variables hw and lw are the height (distance mid-bottom of a strut

between foundation and centerline of loading) and length of

the wall, respectively. hw h

vxhw = Fy + px w − Fs ( x sin θ) (2)

Information from Sections 4.5, 4.6, and 6.5 of Luna et al. tan θ tan θ

(2018) are summarized here because they are used to formu-

late an equation for the peak shear strength of walls without where Fy is the axial force in the vertical reinforcement

boundary elements. over distance x. The strains in the vertical reinforcement in

1. The idealized cracking pattern presented in Fig. 5(a) segment B of SW2 through SW7 at peak shear strength were

is applicable for walls SW2 through SW10. The cracking between 6 millistrain (≃εy) and 20 millistrain (≃10εy), where

patterns observed on SW1, SW11, and SW12 were different εy is the yield strain. For walls SW8, SW9, and SW10, the

from that shown in Fig. 5(a). Cracks in SW1 were due to both corresponding strains were between one millistrain (≃0.5εy)

shear and flexure, and the cracks in the boundary elements of and six millistrain (≃3εy). The force in the vertical reinforce-

walls SW11 and SW12 were horizontal. ment, Fy, shown in Fig. 7(b) is

2. All vertical reinforcement yielded in tension (over the

height of the wall) for walls SW2 through SW7 (walls with Fy = ρltwxfy (3)

vertical reinforcement ratio of 1% and less). Many vertical

bars in walls SW8 through SW10 (walls with vertical rein- where ρl is the vertical reinforcement ratio; tw is the thickness

forcement ratio of 1.5%) did not yield in tension. (The of the wall; and fy is the stress in the vertical reinforcement,

strains in the horizontal and vertical reinforcement of the 12 and equal to: a) the average of the measured yield strength

UB walls are presented in Chapter 4 of Luna et al. [2018]). fy and measured ultimate strength fu of the reinforcement to

Fig. 5—Different sections and idealized cracking pattern of low-aspect-ratio rectangular RC wall.

account for cyclic hardening of the vertical reinforcement in Force Fs is associated with aggregate interlock (or friction

Walls SW2 through SW7; and b) the measured yield strength forces). There is considerable uncertainty in the magnitude of

fy for Walls SW8, SW9, and SW10. this force (Gulec and Whittaker 2009). Moehle (2015) conser-

For Walls SW2 through SW10, the strains in the horizontal vatively assumed that the normal and shear stresses along a

reinforcement are the greatest in the midsection (midlength) diagonal crack were resisted only by the reinforcement, and

of the wall and small at the ends. Based on the gauge data that assumption is adopted herein because it was not possible

at peak strength, 0.25εy is a conservative (low) estimate of to assess the width of the cracks away from the surfaces of the

the strain in the horizontal reinforcement at the boundaries tested walls. Accordingly, the term that includes Fs in Eq. (5)

of Segments A and B, and of Segments B and C. The net is set equal to zero. Equation (5) can be rewritten as

effect of the forces in the horizontal reinforcement on the

two inclined boundaries of Segment B, on the moment at the h 1

mid-bottom of a strut is assumed to be negligible. Assuming Vnb = (ρl tw f y + p ) lw − w − c (6)

tan θ tan θ

a uniform distribution of applied shear along the horizontal

projection of Segment B, and using Eq. (3) for Fy, the shear Segments A and C contribute to the peak shear resistance of

resistance of Segment B can be estimated as low-aspect-ratio walls. Consider first Fig. 8(a) that presents a

free-body diagram of Segment A. Actions Fcy and Fcx are the

h h h normal and shear forces acting at the bottom of segment A.

v lw − w − c hw = ρl tw f y lw − w − c w + ...

tan θ tan θ tan θ The other variables were defined previously. Summing forces

(4)

h h h in the vertical direction and ignoring the vertical component

... + p lw − w − c w − Fs lw − w − c sin θ of aggregate interlock for the reason given previously

tan θ tan θ tan θ

h

The total lateral resistance provided by Segment B of the Fcy = Fv + p w + c (7)

wall, Vnb, is given by tan θ

h h 1 where Fv is equal to

Vnb = v lw − w − c = ρl tw f y lw − w − c + ...

tan θ tan θ tan θ

(5) h

h 1 h sin θ Fv = ρl tw w f y (8)

... + p lw − w − c − Fs lw − w − c tan θ

tan θ tan θ tan θ hw

Fig. 7—Free-body diagram of Segment B of wall without boundary elements.

and ultimate strength of the reinforcement for walls SW2

through SW7. The strains in the vertical reinforcement at

the boundary of segments A and C of walls SW8, SW9, and

SW10 ranged between 0.1 and 1.0 millistrain, and so f y is

set equal to 0.25fy in Eq. (8) for these walls. Denoting fc as the

axial stress in the concrete at the bottom of segment A, Fcy is

h

(ρl tw f y + p ) w

tan θ

c= (10)

f c tw − p Fig. 8—Free-body diagram of Segments A and C of wall

without boundary elements.

Equation (13) can be simplified by setting θ equal to 40

Shear force Fcx can be estimated by multiplying Fcy by a degrees, which is likely appropriate for walls with aspect

coefficient of friction μ. If Vna is the contribution to the shear ratios between 0.25 and 0.75 and low axial compres-

resistance of segment A sive stresses. (The average crack angle for all the walls is

discussed in Chapter 4 of Luna et al. [2018].)

h

Vna = Fcx = µFcy = µ (ρl tw f y + p ) w + pc (11)

tan θ Vn = µ (ρl tw f y + p )(1.2hw ) + pc

(14)

+ 1.2(ρl tw f y + p )(lw − 1.2hw − c) + 0.25ρt hw tw f y

Consider now Fig. 8(b) that presents a free-body diagram

of segment C. The sum of forces in the horizontal rein-

To judge the accuracy of this equation for the shear-crit-

forcement in segment C at peak strength, which is equal to

ical walls SW2 through SW10, p is set to zero and Eq. (14)

the shear resistance of the segment, Vnc, can be estimated

can be further simplified to

using strain gauge data from the horizontal reinforcement.

A conservative (low) estimate of the strain in the horizontal

hw

reinforcement at the boundary of segments B and C (and A Vn = 1.2µρl Acv fy

and B) is 0.25fy. Accordingly, Vnc can be taken as lw

(15)

h c h

Vnc = ρthwtw(0.25fy) (12) + 1.2ρl Acv f y 1 − 1.2 w − + 0.25ρt Acv w f y

lw lw lw

The total lateral resistance (peak shear strength) of a wall

where Acv is the gross cross-sectional area of the wall. To esti-

without boundary elements, Vn, is the sum of Vna, Vnb, and Vnc

mate the length c, a value of 0.8fc′ is assumed: less than the

measured uniaxial compressive strength because there was no

h evidence of spalling of concrete at the compression toes of

Vn = µ (ρl tw f y + p ) w + pc

tan θ walls at peak shear strength. The values of c calculated using

(13)

hw 1 Eq. (10) are listed in the second column of Table 2.

+ (ρl tw f y + p ) lw − −c + 0.25ρt hwtw f y

tan θ tan θ

ACI Structural Journal/March 2019 261

Table 2—Compressive stress on struts in Segment B and shear strength of Walls SW2 through SW10

Wall c, in. fc, ksi fc/fc′ Vna, kip Vnb, kip Vnc, kip Vn, kip Vn/Vpeak

SW2 10.4 1.82 0.26 234 228 82 544 1.03

SW3 6.2 1.22 0.16 157 173 55 384 0.91

SW4 6.4 0.67 0.16 87 95 29 211 0.95

SW5 12 2.05 0.48 166 477 55 698 1.10

SW6 9.1 1.37 0.36 111 335 37 484 0.98

SW7 4.5 0.67 0.18 55 178 18 251 0.84

SW8 7 2.43 0.69 78 338 131 547 0.94

SW9 5.7 2.43 0.57 78 351 58 487 0.78

SW10 5.3 2.43 0.53 78 354 29 461 0.9

Average 0.94

Notes: 1 kip = 4.45 kN; 1 ksi = 6.9 MPa; 1 in. = 25.4 mm.

The shear force transfer across the wall-to-foundation reasonable given that the toes of the walls had experienced

interface in segment A will be limited by: a) principal tensile tensile and compressive loadings prior to the cycle to peak

strength of concrete; and b) shear friction. To calculate strength. The ratio of the predicted peak shear strength to

capacity based on a), the concrete is assumed not to be rein- measured peak shear strength (listed in the last column of

forced, to have a tensile strength of 0.15fc′, and loaded in Table 2) of Walls SW2 through SW10 range between 0.78

uniaxial plane stress: a normal stress corresponding to Fcy (SW9) and 1.1 (SW5), with an average of 0.94. Excluding

and a shear stress. If the normal stress is 0.8fc′ and the corre- the walls that failed in diagonal compression, SW8 and SW9,

sponding shear stress is 0.4fc′, the corresponding principal the average is 0.96. The contributions of the horizontal rein-

stresses are 0.96fc′ (compression) and –0.16fc′ (tension): the forcement, Vnc, to the peak strength of the walls is relatively

ratio of shear stress to normal stress is 0.5. small, which supports the findings of Luna et al. (2015) and

Shear-friction calculations can be informed by the studies observations by Barda et al. (1977), Gulec and Whittaker

of Mattock (1976, 1977), which form the basis of the provi- (2011), and Moehle (2015).

sions in ACI 318. Test series B of Mattock (1976) shows Although the contribution of the horizontal reinforce-

that for normal stress between 226 and 1576 psi (1.56 and ment to the peak shear strength of a low-rise wall is rela-

10.87 MPa), the ultimate shear stress ranges between 487 tively small, a sufficient amount of horizontal reinforcement

and 1700 psi (3.36 and 11.72 MPa), with the ratio of shear is needed to transfer the lateral load from the centerline of

stress to normal stress of between 2.15 and 1.07 (greater than loading of the wall to the different segments of the wall and

1.0). Test series M of Mattock (1977) shows that the average to confine the concrete in the compression struts, where

ratio of measured cyclic to monotonic shears strengths was confinement here relates to maintaining the integrity of the

0.90. Note that the incremented cyclic loading for test series compression struts (refer to Section 23.5 of ACI 318-14). A

M was applied for more than 45 cycles—many more cycles portion of the lateral load in segment A (refer to Fig. 8(a))

than that expected in design basis earthquake shaking and is transmitted to Segments B and C by the horizontal rein-

imposed in the tested walls. A substantial reduction in the forcement. Lateral force in Segment C is transferred to the

number of reversed cycles to failure would increase the ratio foundation via compression struts that form in in Segment C

from the average of 0.90 to close to 1.0 (that is, the mono- (refer to Fig. 8(b)).

tonic shear strength). It is common practice to assume that walls are uniformly

Accordingly, a coefficient of friction μ equal to 0.5 is loaded in shear. On the basis of θ equal to 40 degrees,

assumed here for the calculation of Vna, which caps the shear Segments A (and C) and B should resist 39% and 61% of the

stress at 0.4fc′ and satisfies both the aforementioned prin- total lateral force, respectively, for an aspect ratio of 0.33,

cipal tensile stress-based calculation and is substantially where the percentage assigned to Segment A (and C) is given

less that the shear-friction strength supported by Mattock’s by the ratio of the projected horizontal length of the crack,

monotonic and cyclic tests. (Note the maximum value of the hw/tanθ, to the length of the wall, lw. For an aspect ratio of

normal stress [product of the reinforcement ratio and yield 0.54, Segments A (and C) and B should resist 64% and 36%

strength] of 1576 psi [10.87 MPa] in the 1976 monotonic of the total lateral force, respectively. On the basis of the

tests was equal to approximately 0.25fc′ and smaller than the values of Vna, Vnb, and Vnc in Table 2, Segments A (and C)

normal stress assumed here of 0.8fc′.) and B resist approximately 30% and 70% of the total lateral

The first, second, and third terms of Eq. (15) correspond force, respectively, for the walls with an aspect ratio of 0.33

to Vna, Vnb, and Vnc, respectively. The calculated values of the (SW5, SW6, and SW7). For walls with aspect ratio of 0.54

three terms in Eq. (15) and the predicted peak shear strength for (SW2, SW3, SW4), Segments A (and C) and B resist approx-

walls SW2 through SW10 are listed in Table 2. A coefficient of imately 60% and 40% of the total lateral force, respectively.

friction μ equal to 0.5 is assumed—less than the value of 1.0 (Walls SW8 and SW9 failed in diagonal compression and so

given in ACI 318-14 for a concrete-to-concrete interface but are excluded from this discussion.) These results indicate the

loading plates distributed shear uniformly over the length of tion). Based on the values of the ratio of fc to fc′ for walls

the tested walls, which would suggest that floor diaphragms SW8 and SW9 that failed in diagonal compression, it is

in buildings should be reinforced for this purpose. reasonable to limit fc to 0.5fc′. Compression struts also form

The shear resistance of the wall provided by Segment in segment C. Assuming an axial stress in these struts of

B will be limited by the compressive strength of its struts. 0.5fc′, the diagonal compression strength of the wall can be

Consider again the free-body diagram of Segment B estimated as

presented in Fig. 7. Assuming the force in the horizontal

reinforcement on the two inclined boundaries of a strut are not Vn = fcsinθcosθtwlw (22)

significantly different, the compressive force at the bottom of a

strut, Fc, can be estimated by summing horizontal forces along For a strut angle of 40 degrees with respect to the hori-

the horizontal projection of Segment B. That is zontal, Eq. (22) corresponds to a horizontal shearing stress

of 0.25fc′, which in turn maps to 15.8√fc′ for concrete with

vx = Fccosθ (16) a uniaxial compressive strength of 4000 psi (27.59 MPa).

Given that the maximum average shear stress at peak

If fc is the compressive stress in a strut, Fc can be expressed as strength for SW8 and SW9 ranged between 10√fc′ and 11√fc′

(refer to Table 1), it is reasonable to increase the ACI 318-14

Fc = fc(xsinθ)tw (17) limit on nominal shear stress to 10√fc′.

The nominal shear strength of a rectangular, low aspect

Considering all the struts in Segment B of the wall, the ratio RC wall without boundary elements can be estimated as

lateral force in Segment B, Vnb, can be expressed in terms

of fc as hw

Vn = 0.6 (ρl Acv f y + plw ) + 0.5 pc + ...

lw

h

Vnb = f c sin θ cos θtw lw − w − c (18) h c

tan θ ...1.2(ρl Acv f y + plw ) 1 − 1.2 w − + ... (23)

lw lw

Using Eq. (6) and (18), an approximate value of the hw

...0.25ρt Acv f y ≤ 10 f c′Acv

compressive stress of the struts in Segment B, fc, can be lw

calculated as

or

h

f c sin θ cos θtw lw − w − c h c

tan θ Vn = 1.2(ρl Acv f y + plw ) 1 − 0.7 w −

(19) lw lw

h 1 (24)

= (ρl tw f y + p ) lw − w − c h

tan θ tan θ + 0.25ρt w Acv f y + 0.5 pc ≤ 10 f c′Acv

lw

Using a value of 40 degrees for θ and simplifying,

Eq. (19) becomes where all terms have been defined previously—θ = 40

degrees and μ = 0.5. In Eq. (24), f y is set equal to 1.25fy,

p which requires that the vertical reinforcing bars be devel-

f c = 2.4 ρl f y + (20) oped for this stress or greater (perhaps 1.5fy based on the test

tw

data) at the upper ends of the compression struts.

For Walls SW2 through SW10, Eq. (20) can be written as

Walls with boundary elements

Walls SW11 and SW12 included boundary elements

f c = 2.4ρl f y (21)

contained within the web. The reinforcement in the

boundary elements changed the orientation of the diagonal

Values of fc for Walls SW2 through SW10 per Eq. (21)

cracks to horizontal at the web-boundary element junctions.

are listed in third column of Table 2. The ratios of fc to fc′

The fringes of shear strain and pattern of cracking at peak

are listed in the fourth column of Table 2. For Walls SW2

strength in SW11 are shown in Fig. 4(b). The segments of

through SW7, walls with vertical reinforcement ratio of

SW11 and SW12 with significantly different strains at peak

1% and less, the ratio of fc to fc′ ranged between 0.16 (SW3

strength, the idealized pattern of cracking and corresponding

and SW4) and 0.48 (SW5). For Walls SW8, SW9, and

forces are identified in Fig. 5(b), where lbe is the length of

SW10 (walls with vertical reinforcement ratio of 1.5%),

each boundary element (equal to 16 in. [406 mm] for SW11

the ratios are 0.69, 0.57, and 0.53, respectively. Walls that

and SW12), lweb is the length of the web of the wall between

are heavily reinforced—assumed here to be a few multiples

the two boundary elements, and ρbe is the boundary element

of the minimum reinforcement ratio specified in ACI 318

reinforcement ratio defined as the area of vertical reinforce-

(= 0.0025 for Grade 60 reinforcing bar)—may fail in diag-

ment (As,be) in one boundary element divided by the area of

onal compression (excessive axial stress in the diagonal

that boundary element (lbe × tw), and all other variables were

struts that transfer horizontal shearing force to the founda-

defined previously. Herein, Eq. (13) is extended to accom-

modate boundary elements, each of which is assumed to be

loaded by an axial force P.

The free-body diagram of Segment A of the wall with

boundary elements is shown in Fig. 9(a). The shearing force

at the bottom of Segment A, Vna,be, is calculated similarly

to Eq. (11). The distance c is set equal to the length of the

boundary element, lbe, based on the patterns of cracking

observed in the tests of SW11 and SW12. The normal force

Fcy in Eq. (11) will increase by an amount equal to the

concentrated load on the boundary element P. The strains in

the vertical reinforcement in the webs of SW11 and SW12

were mostly between 1 and 6 millistrain and so the stress in Fig. 9—Free-body diagram of Segments A and B of wall

this reinforcing bar is assumed to be fy. The shear force Vna,be with boundary elements.

can be written as

Vn ,be = 0.6hw (ρl tw f y + p ) + 1.7( plbe + P )

h + 1.2(ρl tw f y + p )(lw − 1.2hw − 2lbe ) (29)

Vna ,be = µ (ρl tw f y + p ) w + plbe + P (25)

tan θ + 1.2(ρbe As ,be f y ) + 0.25ρt hw tw f y

For Walls SW11 and SW12 for which p and P are zero,

forcement to the lateral resistance of the wall with boundary

Eq. (28) can be further simplified to

elements, Vnc,be, is given by

+ 1.2ρl tw f y (lw − 1.2hw − 2lbe ) (30)

where all variables have been defined previously. + 1.2ρbe lbe tw f y + 0.25ρt hwtw f y

The free body diagram of Segment B is presented in

Fig. 9(b). Following the formulation for Eq. (6), the total

lateral resistance provided by Segment B for the walls with In Eq. (30), the first term on the right side corresponds to

boundary elements, Vnb,be, is Vna,be, the sum of the second and third terms correspond to

Vnb,be, and the fourth term corresponds to Vnc,be. The calcu-

h 1 lated values of Vna,be, Vnb,be, and Vnc,be, and the predicted peak

Vnb ,be = (ρl tw f y + p ) lw − w − 2lbe shear strength for Walls SW11 and SW12 are listed in Table

tan θ tan θ

(27) 3. Similar to the walls without boundary elements, the contri-

1 1

+ (ρbe tw f y + p )(lbe ) +P bution of the horizontal reinforcement to peak strength, Vnc,be,

tan θ tan θ is small. The average of the ratios of the predicted peak shear

strength to the measured peak shear strength (listed in the last

where the axial force on the right boundary element is column of Table 3) for SW11 and SW12 is 1.01. The strengths

assigned to Segment B, identically to the boundary element of SW11 and SW12 associated with a diagonal compression

vertical reinforcement. The strains in the vertical reinforce- failure is 679 kip (3020 kN) for both, and greater than those

ment of the boundary elements of SW11 and SW12 ranged associated with a diagonal tension failure.

between 2 and 20 millistrain and the stress in this vertical The nominal shear strength of a rectangular, low-

reinforcement is taken as f y (that is, the average of the yield aspect-ratio RC wall with boundary elements contained within

and ultimate strengths) to account for cyclic strain hardening. the web of the wall can be estimated by simplifying Eq. (28) as

The diagonal tension shear strength of a wall with

boundary elements, Vn,be, is the sum of Vna,be, Vnb,be, and Vnc,be Vn ,be = 1.2(ρl tw f y + p )(lw − 0.7 hw − 2lbe ) + 1.7( plbe + P)

(31)

h + 1.2ρbe As ,be f y + 0.25ρt hwtw f y ≤ 10 f c′Acv

Vn ,be = µ (ρl tw f y + p ) w + plbe + P

tan θ or

h 1

+ (ρl tw f y + p ) lw − w − 2lbe

tan θ tan θ h l

Vn ,be = 1.2(ρl Acv f y + p ) 1 − 0.7 w − 2 be + 1.7( plbe + P)

1 1 lw lw

+ (ρbe tw f y + p )(lbe ) +P + ρt hw tw (0.25 f y ) (32)

tan θ tan θ h

+ 1.2ρbe As ,be f y + 0.25ρt Acv w f y ≤ 10 f c′Acv

(28) lw

where all terms have been defined previously—θ = 40

Setting θ = 40 degrees, μ = 0.5, and simplifying, Eq. (28) degrees and μ = 0.5. In Eq. (32), f y is set equal to 1.25fy,

becomes which requires that the vertical reinforcing bars be developed

Table 3—Shear strength of Walls SW11 and SW12

Wall Vna,be, kip Vnb,be, kip Vnc,be, kip Vn,be, kip Vn,be/Vpeak

SW11 140 238 58 436 1.05

SW12 69 281 29 379 0.97

Average 1.01

rectangular walls without boundary elements

Researcher Wall Vpeak, kip Vn (Eq. (36)), kip Vn/Vpeak

SW-8 128.1 127.6 1.00

Cardenas

SW-13 142.1 135.7 0.95

M1 45.5 47.3 1.04

Greifenhagen

M2 45.7 44.3 0.97

SWN-1D 67.2 69.2 1.03

SWN-5D 55.1 52.7 0.96

SW-5 54.4 63.4 1.17

SW9 55.8 56.2 1.01

Sheu SW11 49.8 56.2 1.13

SW12 55.8 57.2 1.03

SW13 54.7 54.6 1.00

Fig. 10—Free-body diagram for modified Gulec and Whit-

SW17 40.5 42.0 1.04 taker (2011) equation for peak strength.

SW19 35.2 37.4 1.06

Luna made clear that the free-body diagram assumed by

SW2 526.0 438.0 0.83 Gulec applies best to walls without boundary elements.

SW3 423.0 349.9 0.83 The orientation of the cracks in the webs of the walls with

SW4 221.0 215.8 0.98 boundary elements changed from diagonal to horizontal at

the junctions of web and the boundary elements: challenging

SW5 633.0 592.5 0.94

the assumed free-body diagram used for the derivation.

Luna SW6 491.0 442.0 0.90 The free-body diagram of Gulec was therefore modified

SW7 297.0 297.3 1.00 based on the pattern of cracking pattern observed from the

SW8 584.0 568.6 0.97 tests of Luna’s walls. The modified free-body diagram is

shown in Fig. 10(a). Summing moments at Point A

SW9 627.0 541.8 0.86

SW10 512.0 530.2 1.04 l

h

Average 1.00

P a1 − w + Fvwt (a2 ) + Fvwc (a3 ) + Fhw w + Fcy (a4 )

2 2

V=

Note: 1 kip = 4.45 kN. hw

for this stress or greater at the upper ends of the boundary (33)

elements.

where Fvwt and Fvwc are the forces in the vertical reinforce-

AN EMPIRICAL EQUATION FOR PEAK LATERAL ment in tension and compression, respectively; and Fcy is the

STRENGTH OF SHEAR-CRITICAL WALLS vertical component of the force in the concrete in compres-

WITHOUT BOUNDARY ELEMENTS sion. The areas of vertical reinforcement in compression at

Equations (24) and (32), which estimate the peak lateral the base of the walls at peak lateral strength in SW2 through

strength of a rectangular shear critical wall, without and with SW10 were small and the corresponding vertical forces Fvwc

boundary elements, respectively, would have to be simpli- can be set to 0. Forces Fvwt can then be replaced by Fvw,

fied for inclusion in a design standard. Gulec and Whittaker which acts at a distance a5 from point A (refer to Fig. 10(b)).

(2011) developed a simple empirical equation for peak shear Assuming strain hardening in some of the vertical reinforce-

strength using nonlinear regression analysis of data from ment in tension, force Fvw can be approximated as the product

tests of 74 rectangular shear-critical walls (with and without of the total area of vertical reinforcement and its yield stress.

boundary elements) conducted by others. The patterns of Force Fhw can also be approximated using the total horizontal

cracking at peak lateral strength in the 12 walls tested by reinforcement area and yield stress of the horizontal reinforce-

ment. Equation (33) can then be written as

h l after simplification, could be used for design and seismic

Fcy (a3 ) + Fvw (a5 ) + Fhw w + P a1 − w performance assessment of buildings constructed with low-

2 2

Vn = (34) aspect-ratio RC walls. The empirical equation of Gulec and

hw Whittaker (2011) for peak lateral strength of low-aspect-ratio

walls without boundary elements was updated using data

The functional form of a modified equation for the peak collected from the testing of the 12 large-size walls.

lateral strength of a rectangular shear-critical wall without

boundary elements, based on the equilibrium expression in AUTHOR BIOS

Eq. (34), can be expressed as ACI member Bismarck N. Luna is a Senior Development Specialist at

Linde, plc. He received his BS from University of the Philippines, the Phil-

ippines; his MS degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN; and his

β1 f c′Aeff + β 2 Fvw + β3 Fhw + β 4 P PhD degree from the University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. His research inter-

Vn = (35) ests include earthquake engineering and reinforced concrete structures.

(hw /lw )β5

Andrew S. Whittaker, FACI, is a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the

Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering at the

where the concrete contribution is expressed in terms of √fc′. University at Buffalo. He received his BS from the University of Melbourne,

Melbourne, Australia, and his MS and PhD from the University of Cali-

Regression analysis was performed using MATLAB fornia, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, in 1977, 1985, and 1988, respectively.

R2012b (MathWorks, Inc. 2012) to determine the values of He is a member of ACI Committee 349, Concrete Nuclear Structures.

the coefficients in Eq. (35). The nonlinear solver fmincon in His research interests include earthquake and blast engineering, and

performance-based seismic design and assessment.

MATLAB R2012b, a function that uses Sequential Quadratic

Programming to find the minimum of a constrained nonlinear

function with multiple variables, was used. Thirteen rectan- REFERENCES

ACI Committee 318, 2014, “Building Code Requirements for Struc-

gular walls without boundary elements were chosen from tural Concrete (ACI 318-14) and Commentary (ACI 318R-14),” American

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Barda, F.; Hanson, J. M.; and Corley, W. G., 1977, “Shear Strength of

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Nine of Luna’s walls, SW2 through SW10, were included in Seismic Zones, SP-53, American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills,

in the regression analysis, where their peak lateral strengths MI, pp. 149-202.

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to experimental peak strength, shown in the last column Strength of Squat Rectangular Reinforced Concrete Walls,” ACI Structural

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