Ductile Behavior of Coupled Shear Walls

by Thomas Paulay, Prof. of Civ.Engrg.; Univ. of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand,
Arumbakkam R. Santhakumar, Commonwealth Scholar; Univ. of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 1, Pg. 93-108

Document Type: Journal Paper


The behavior of two quarter full-size seven-story reinforced concrete coupled shear walls, with conventionally and diagonally reinforced coupling beams, subjected to static reversed cyclic loading to simulate seismic effects, is compared in terms of stiffness degradation, ductilities attained, and energy absorption capacity. In the walls coupled by conventionally reinforced coupling beams, the sliding shear failure of the beams limits the energy absorption capacity of the structure. In every respect the superior performance of the structure containing diagonally reinforced beams is established. The use of ductile diagonally reinforced coupling beams enabled a considerable portion of the total energy to be dissipated by the coupling system thereby relieving plastic hinges in the walls. The results show that with careful detailing, coupled shear wall structures can be made to possess all the desirable features of an effective earthquake-resistant structure.

Subject Headings: Coupled walls | Shear walls | Coupling | Structure reinforcement | Shear failures | Earthquake resistant structures | Ductility | Seismic loads

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