Seismic Performance of Slender Reinforced Concrete Structural Walls
Birely, Anna Christine
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Reinforced concrete structural walls are one of the most common lateral-load resisting systems found in mid-rise buildings. They are stiff and strong, easily incorporated into architectural layouts, and, when well designed and detailed, generally considered to perform well under earthquake loading. However, damage to mid-rise walled buildings in the 2010 Chilean earthquake has reminded the engineering community that structural walls can sustain serious damage and that consequently there is a need to improve understanding of wall performance. The research presented here seeks to address this need through experimental testing of slender planar walls and evaluation of performance-assessment tools for performance-based earthquake engineering. Despite the engineering community's reliance on reinforced concrete structural walls, relatively few experimental tests have been done to investigate the seismic performance of modern, code-compliant walls. Those tests that have been conducted provide a limited amount of data to support development of performance-based seismic design tools. To address this lack of data, a large experimental test program was undertaken by researchers at the Universities of Washington, Illinois, and California. As a portion of this program, four large-scale planar (rectangular) walls representative of mid-rise West Coast construction were tested and a large number of data were collected. Data analysis, presented here, was done to provide improved understanding of earthquake response and performance of rectangular walls and support the validation of numerical models. Collected experimental data included detailed damage data. These data, along with documented damage from previous experimental tests, were used to develop performance-prediction tools. These tools, known as fragility functions, relate engineering demand parameters such as strain, rotation, or drift, to the likelihood of specific damage occurring. Damage sustained by buildings during the 2010 Chile earthquake provided a unique opportunity to evaluate performance-based design tools. Several mid-rise buildings that sustained damage in the earthquake were studied, with a focus on evaluating the fragility functions developed from experimental data and evaluating the ASCE/SEI 31/41 standards for the seismic evaluation of existing structures. Evaluation of the ASCE standards involved the use of both linear and nonlinear models. Results of the building evaluations indicate aspects of the procedures that require improvements.
- Civil engineering