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Soil Dynamics

Lecture 18

Diaphragm Theory - Part III


In a Problem Format

Question #01.
A wood residence has a wood structural panel roof diaphragm (which is shown in
plan view below). Two retail stores are separated by a common wood shear wall,
parallel to the north-south lateral loading. The height of the building is 14 feet. The
roof diaphragm is adequately anchored to the shear wall. Assume = 1.0.
Determine the roof diaphragm shear force along line 3.

A. 3,800 lbf.
B. 5,600 lbf.
C. 7,500 lbf.
D. 9,000 lbf.

Answer to #01.
C.
The shear wall along line 3 carries half of the diaphragm shear between lines 2 and
3.

wL 150 lb f / ft (100 ft )
=
= 7 , 500 lb f
V=
2
2

Question #02.
A wood residence has a wood structural panel roof diaphragm (which is shown in
plan view below). Two retail stores are separated by a common wood shear wall,
parallel to the north-south lateral loading. The height of the building is 14 feet. The
roof diaphragm is adequately anchored to the shear wall. Assume = 1.0).
Along line X between lines 1 and 2, determine the maximum diaphragm chord force
in the chord member.

A. 750 lbf.
B. 1,200 lbf.
C. 2,300 lbf.
D. 4,700 lbf.

Answer to #02.
B.
The maximum diaphragm chord force occurs at the midpoint between lines 1 and 2.
It is calculated as the bending moment of a simple beam under a distributed load,
per unit depth of diaphragm.
2

M wL
C=
=
=
b
8b

150 lb f / ft ( 50 ft )
8 ( 40 ft )

= 1,170 lb f

Question #03.
A wood residence has a wood structural panel roof diaphragm (which is shown in
plan view below). Two retail stores are separated by a common wood shear wall,
parallel to the north-south lateral loading. The height of the building is 14 feet. The
roof diaphragm is adequately anchored to the shear wall. Assume = 1.0).
Determine the diaphragm chord force at the intersection of lines Y and 1.

A. 0 lbf.
B. 290 lbf.
C. 600 lbf.
D. 1,200 lbf.

Answer to #03.
A.
Chords are the boundary members of a diaphragm, and are perpendicular to the
direction of the lateral load.
Chords are designed to carry moments and provide all the resistance to the flexural
stresses.
Chord forces at the chord ends are zero.

Question #04.
A wood frame shear wall in a seismic zone 2 is shown in elevation below. The shear
wall is part of a one-story structure with a flexible roof diaphragm. The shear wall
panels have the same thickness. What is the approximate lateral load carried by
panel 1?

A. 1,800 lbf.
B. 2,600 lbf.
C. 3,000 lbf.
D. 9,000 lbf.

drag supports

Answer to #04.
B.

b = 10 ft + 20 ft + 5 ft = 35 ft

9 , 000 lb f
V
= 257 lb f / ft
= =
b
( 35 ft )

V = b = 257 lb f / ft (10 ft ) = 2 , 570 lb f

Question #05.
What is the purpose of providing drag struts (collectors) at the diaphragm
boundaries?

A. To resist moments.
B. To transmit unsupported horizontal diaphragm shear to the supporting shear
walls.
C. To distribute torsion.
D. None of the above.

Answer to #05.
B.
At points of discontinuity in the plan, or where the vertical resisting elements are not
provided because of windows or doors, the drag struts collect and drag the
horizontal diaphragm shear to the supporting vertical resisting elements.

Question #06.
The force in a drag strut is,

A. tension only.
B. compression only.
C. either tension or compression.
D. none of the above.

Answer to #06.
C.
Struts collect diaphragm load and carry it to a shear wall. Struts carry tension and
compression depending on the direction of seismic loading.

Question #07.
The wood structural panel roof diaphragm of a one-story building is shown below. The
north shear walls length is not the full width of the building. Determine the location of
the maximum strut force. Assume = 1.0.
A. At point X.
B. At point Y.
C. At point Z.
D. At both points X and Z.

Answer to #07.
A.
The strut force changes along the length of the drag strut. The maximum force
occurs at the point where the drag strut attaches to the parallel wall.
For the north shear wall, considering the direction of seismic loading shown, this
location is at point X.

Question #08.
The plan view of a wood structural panel roof diaphragm is shown below. The left
wall has an opening at its center. For the loading shown, where in the drag strut does
the maximum force occur? Assume = 1.0.
A. At point X.
B. At point Y.
C. At point Z.
D. At both points X and Z.

Answer to #08.
D.
The strut force changes along the length of the drag strut. The maximum force
occurs at the point where the drag strut attaches to the parallel wall. Points X and Z
frame into parallel walls. Therefore, the maximum drag strut forces occur at both
locations.

Question #09.
Choose the correct statements for the strut force:
I.

The strut force in compression will remain a compression force if the direction
of the lateral force is reversed.

II. The strut forces are zero at the outside ends of the walls.
III. The greater magnitude of the strut force or the chord force at corresponding
points along the wall determines the critical loading condition.

A. I and II.
B. I and III.
C. II and III.
D. I, II and III.

Answer to #09.
C.
Struts carry tension and compression, depending on the direction of the seismic
loading. The outside ends of the walls can be considered to experience no strut forces.
The critical loading conditions depend on the greater magnitude of the strut and
chord forces at the corresponding points along the wall.

Question #10.
What is the purpose of providing chords at diaphragm boundaries?

A. To distribute torsion.
B. To distribute lateral load.
C. To resist moments.
D. None of the above.

Answer to #10.
C.
Chords are elements, such as walls or reinforcement at the diaphragm boundaries
that are perpendicular to the direction of the applied seismic loading. They resist
moments and are regarded as tension and compression members.

Question #11.
Which of the following materials would be suitable to use as diaphragm chords?

A. wood
B. steel
C. masonry
D. All of the above

Answer to #11.
C.
Chords are elements at the borders of the diaphragm along the walls perpendicular
to the direction of the applied seismic loading. Any continuous material that resists
all tensile and compressive forces can be used.
For example, masonry walls with adequate tensile reinforcement, the double topplate in wood stud walls, and steel are suitable.

Question #12.
The force in the chord member is obtained from which of the following formulas?

M
A. The force in the chord =
b
wL2
B. The force in the chord =
8b
FL
C. The force in the chord =
8b
D. All of the above.

Answer to #12.
D.

The chord force C is calculated as the bending moment of a simle beam due to a distributed
M
load w per unit depth of the diaphragm, C =
b
wL2
and the bending moment of a simple beam is, M =
8
F
Since the distributed load w is the diaphragm force divided by the span, w =
L
the expressions for the chord force are,
F 2
L
M wL2 L
FL
C= =
=
=
b
8b
8b
8b

Question #13.
For a flexible roof diaphragm adequately anchored to the shear walls, which of the
following statements identifies the correct chord forces at lines 1 and 2? Assume = 1.0.
A. The maximum chord forces at lines 1 and 2 are equal.
B. The maximum chord force at line 2 is twice the chord force at line 1.
C. The chord force at line 1 is generally ignored.
D. The total chord force at lines 1 and 2 is 40w.

Answer to #13.
A.
The chords at lines 1 and 2 resist bending due to the diaphragm loads, when the
loading is in the direction shown.
At both lines, the maximum chord forces are equal and occur at mid-span where the
maximum moment develops.

Question #14.
The plan view of a residential one-story wood structure with a wood structural panel
roof diaphragm is shown below. The lateral force is in the north-south direction. The
calculated roof diaphragm shear capacity is 200 lbf/ft in the direction of the loading.
The roof diaphragm is adequately anchored to the shear walls. What will be the
maximum force in the chord members? Assume = 1.0.
A. 7,500 lbf.
B. 11,000 lbf.
C. 12,700 lbf.
D. 14,300 lbf.

Answer to #14.
A.

The diaphragm shear is resisted by the parallel walls. The shear force on each
wall is,

V = b = 200 lb f / ft ( 50 ft ) = 10 , 000 lb f

Each parallel wall resists half of the diaphragm load. The total distributed load w is,

2V 2 10 , 000 lb f
w=
=
= 133 lb f / ft
L
(150 ft )
The maximum chord force is calculated as the maximum bending stress due to the
distributed diaphragm load,
M
wL2
but M max =
C=
b
8
2

therefore,

C max =

wL
=
8b

133 lb f / ft (150 ft )

(8)( 50 ft )

= 7 , 500 lb f

Question #15.
The plan view of a one-story retail store is shown below. It is built with a wood
structure with a wood structural panel roof diaphragm. Determine the force in the
chord member at the intersection of lines X and 1. Assume = 1.0.
A. 0 lbf.
B. 1,250 lbf.
C. 2,000 lbf.
D. 5,000 lbf.

Answer to #15.
A.
The chord forces at the chord ends are always zero. This can be demonstrated for the
current set of assumptions, but the results can be generalized to any chord member.
The chord force is the resistance to bending under the imposed diaphragm loads.
The diaphragm shear at the parallel walls is,

wL 250 lbf / ft ( 80 ft )
V=
=
=10,000 lbf
2
2
V 10,000 lbf / ft
= =
= 250 lbf / ft
b
40 ft

As shown by the shear and bending moment diagrams above, the moments at the ends
of the chords are zero. Therefore, the chord forces at the ends are also zero.
C=M/b
Therefore, C = 0. The forces in the chord member at the intersection of lines X and 1 is
zero.

Question #16.
A one-story wood frame commercial building has a wood structural panel roof
diaphragm, and its south wall has a 40 foot opening. Determine the chord force at the
intersection of lines X and 1. Assume = 1.0.
A. 2,350 lbf.
B. 4,700 lbf.
C. 9,400 lbf.
D. 11,750 lbf.

Answer to #16.
C.
The chord force is the bending moment per unit depth of the diaphragm. The shear
load at the parallel walls is,

500 lb f / ft ( 80 ft )
wL
V=
=
= 20 , 000 lb f
2
2
The shear and bending moment diaphragms across the length of the
chord are as shown on the next slide,

20 , 000 lb f

V
=

V = 5 , 000 lb f ( at lines X and 1)


40
10
The moment at line 1 is calculated as the area under the shear diagram. The
chord force is the bending moment divided by the diaphragm depth.

M = 5 , 000 lb f

( 30 ft )

15 , 000 lb ) ( 30 ft )
(
+
= 375 , 000 ft lb
f

M 375 , 000 ft lb f
C=
=
= 9 , 400 lb f
b
40 ft

Question #17.
Which of the following statements regarding diaphragm chord members is
incorrect?
I.

The maximum chord force occurs at the location of the maximum moment.

II. The maximum chord force occurs at the chord ends.


III. The maximum chord force is zero.

A. II
B. III
C. I and III
D. I, II and III

Answer to #17.
A.
The maximum chord force develops at mid-span (at the location of the maximum
moment), while the minimum chord force occurs at the chord ends and is zero.

Question #18.
The plan view of a wood-framed one-story retail store is shown below. The south wall
has a 35 foot shear wall panel. How long should this shear wall panel have to be in
order to develop an equal magnitude drag and chord force? Assume = 1.0.
A. 0 ft
B. 40 ft
C. 60 ft
D. 75 ft

Answer to #18.
D.
Assume x equals the distance of an additional wall section measured from the east
wall. For the strut force on the south wall, E-W seismic loading applies.

600 lb f / ft ( 50 ft )
wL
V=
=
= 15 , 000 lb f
2
2
V 15 , 000 lb f
= 150 lb f / ft
= =
b
100 ft
Therefore, the strut force on the south wall is,

(150 lb

/ ft

) ( x ft ) = 150 x lb

For the chord force on the south wall, N-S seismic loading applies. Assume
x equals the distance of an additional wall section measured from the east wall.

200 lb f / ft (100 ft )
wL
V=
=
= 10 , 000 lb f
2
2

U sin g th e sh ear an d m o m e n t d iag ram s, th e d esired sh ear is,


1 0 , 0 0 0 lb f
V =
( 5 0 ft x ) = 2 0 0 ( 5 0 x )
5 0 ft

an d th e d esired m o m en t is,
x
M = ( 2 0 0 )( 5 0 x ) + 1 0 , 0 0 0 lb f = 1 0 , 0 0 0 x 1 0 0 x 2
2
T h e ch o rd fo rce o n th e so u th w all is ,

M
10 ,000 x 100 x 2
C =
=
= 200 x 2 x 2
b
5 0 ft

Here it is required to find how long the 35 foot south wall panel should be in
order to have equal magnitude strut and chord forces.
Therefore, the strut force should be set equal to the chord force,
150 x = 200 x 2 x 2
Solve for x (the shear wall additional length measured from the east wall),
x = 25 feet
the south wall extended length = 100 ft 25 ft = 75 ft

Question #19.
The plan view of a wood structural panel roof diaphragm is shown below. The walls
are of wood-frame construction. For the south wall, at what point are the magnitudes
of the drag strut and the chord force identical? Assume = 1.0.
A. At point X.
B. At point Y.
C. At point Z.
D. None.

Answer to #19.
A.

300 lb f ( 60 ft )
wL
V=
=
= 9 , 000 lb f
2
2

9 , 000 lb f
Vx
MX =
=
2
2

) ( 30 ft ) = 135, 000 ft lb

MY = 135 , 000 ft lb f

3 , 000 lb ) (10 ft )
(

= 120 , 000 ft lb

M Z = 135 , 000 ft lb f

2
6 , 000 lb f

) ( 20 ft ) = 75, 000 ft lb

MX 135,000 ft lbf
CX =
=
= 2,250 lbf
b
60 ft
MY 120,000 ft lbf
CY =
=
= 2,000 lbf
b
60 ft
MZ 75,000 ft lbf
CZ =
=
=1,250 lbf
b
60 ft
The strut shear stresses in the roof and the walls are,
V 9,000 lbf
V 9,000 lbf
= 225 lbf / ft
roof = =
=150 lbf / ft and wall = =
b
60 ft
b
40 ft
lbf
lbf
At X, the drag strut force is, DX +150 ( 30 ft ) 225 (10 ft ) = 0 DX =2,250 lbf
ft
ft

lbf
lbf
At Y, the drag strut force is, DY +150 ( 20 ft ) 225 (10 ft ) = 0 DY =750 lbf
ft
ft

lbf
lbf
At Z, the drag strut force is, DZ +150 (10 ft ) 225 (10 ft ) = 0 DZ = 750 lbf
ft
ft

Question #20.
A buildings drift depends on,
A. the story height.
B. the building height.
C. the shear load.
D. All of the above.

Answer to #20.
D.
The drift is the displacement between adjacent stories due to applied forces. The
drift can be divided into different components (for example, shear drift and chord
drift) depending on the nature of the loading and the displacement that results.
The drift depends on variables, such as the building and story heights, shear load,
girder length and depth, column length and height, and frame length.