Finite Element Analysis and Design of Plywood Shear Walls

by Nathan H. A. Cole, US Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, United States,
Robert E. Efimba, US Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Electronic Computation


An integrated procedure for the analysis and design of rectangular plywood shear walls is presented and illustrated. The analysis is done using an in-house finite element program with a plane stress rectangular element consisting of 3 d.o.f (2 translations and an in-plane rotation) at each of the 4 corner nodes. The analysis portion is based on some research by and under the supervision of the senior author over the past 20 years. That research is thoroughly reviewed in Refs 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 along with pertinent related work in the literature. The analysis results are passed on to a set of design routines based on the 1988 APA guidelines. Examples are given to illustrate analysis and design, including walls with openings, with convergence and modelling studies provided in a separate paper. Granted that further refinements could be introduced in the areas of material characterization, re-cycling and automation of the entire procedure, the examples do show that the methodology presented is a versatile and practical tool for a rational design of plywood shear walls.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Shear walls | Stress analysis | Materials characterization | Structural design | Rotation | Personnel management | Bibliographies

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