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Shear strength of squat rectangular reinforced


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ACI STRUCTURAL JOURNAL TECHNICAL PAPER
Title no. 105-S47

Shear Strength of Squat Rectangular Reinforced


Concrete Walls
by Cevdet K. Gulec, Andrew S. Whittaker, and Bozidar Stojadinovic

Squat reinforced concrete walls (height less than twice the length) 318 2005); 2) Chapter 11 of ACI 318-05 (ACI Committee
are important structural components of both conventional and 318 2005); 3) Barda et al. (1977); 4) ASCE/SEI 43-05
nuclear safety-related structures. Predictive equations are available in (ASCE 2005); and 5) Wood (1990). Nominal rather than
the literature to compute the shear strength of squat walls but the design strengths are used for the comparison because the
scatter in the results for a given set of design variables is large.
strength reduction factor is not intended to account for bias in
The utility of five predictive equations is evaluated using data from
tests of 120 rectangular walls. The equation proposed by Wood in the strength equation. Reported material strengths and
1990 resulted in a median ratio of the predicted to measured member dimensions are used to predict nominal strengths.
strengths close to 1.0 with a small coefficient of variation. Test The mean, median, and dispersion in the ratios of the
data are also used to quantify the loss of strength with repeated predicted to measured peak shear strengths provide insight
cycling. The inter-cycle drop in strength and stiffness is significant, into the utility of each strength equation and the simplified
with the largest reductions observed for walls with aspect ratios models on which the equations are based. The loss of shear
less than 0.5. strength with repeated cycling to displacements equal to or
greater than that of the displacement associated with the peak
Keywords: reinforced concrete; shear strength; squat walls; strength resistance is presented. Based on the observed comparisons,
degradation. one equation is identified as the most reliable of the five. Factors
to estimate the mean second- and third-cycle strengths as a
INTRODUCTION percentage of the measured peak shear strength are provided
Squat reinforced concrete walls, defined herein as walls as a function of the aspect ratio.
with a height-length ratio less than or equal to 2, are widely
used in conventional buildings and safety-related nuclear RESEARCH SIGNIFICANCE
structures. The typical behavior of such walls under quasi- This study presents experimental data related to the shear
static cyclic loading in a standard test is shown in Fig. 1, strength of squat reinforced concrete walls with rectangular
where only the first quadrant of the force-displacement cross sections. The accuracy and reliability of five predictive
response of a rectangular reinforced concrete squat wall with equations used widely in U.S. practice are investigated. Loss
an aspect ratio of 0.5 is plotted (Synge 1980). This wall of wall shear strength with repeated cycling to the same or
attains its peak strength during the first cycle of loading to a larger displacement is quantified. The data generated in this
displacement of 10 mm (0.394 in.); its strength and stiffness study can be used to develop robust nonlinear macromodels
degrade rapidly with repeated cycling. Accurate evaluation of squat rectangular walls for analysis and to validate
of both the peak and degraded strengths of squat walls is predictive strength equations developed in the future.
important because conventional buildings are likely to
experience multiple deformation cycles at or beyond yield in
maximum earthquake shaking, and nuclear safety-related
structures will likely be subjected to multiple cycles of
loading to peak strength in safe shutdown earthquake shaking.
Building codes, manuals of practice, guidelines, and the
literature provide a number of predictive equations for the
peak shear strength of reinforced concrete walls. These
procedures use parameters such as aspect ratio, horizontal
reinforcement ratio, vertical reinforcement ratio, and axial
force to estimate the peak shear strength. Prior studies have
indicated that the scatter in the shear strength predicted by
these equations is substantial, which is problematic because
shear strength is the key variable for force-based design and
performance assessment. The topic of strength degradation
in structural walls is not widely reported in the literature. Fig. 1Load-displacement relationship of Wall 1 tested by
Herein, the results of tests of 120 squat walls with rectangular Synge (1980). (Note: 1 kN = 0.2248 kip; 1 mm = 0.0394 in.)
cross sections are compiled and reduced to evaluate peak
shear strength and to characterize strength degradation. The ACI Structural Journal, V. 105, No. 4, July-August 2008.
MS No. S-2007-074.R1 received February 19, 2007, and reviewed under Institute
experimentally measured peak shear strengths of the 120 walls publication policies. Copyright 2008, American Concrete Institute. All rights reserved,
are compared with nominal shear strengths predicted by five including the making of copies unless permission is obtained from the copyright proprietors.
Pertinent discussion including authors closure, if any, will be published in the May-
equations: 1) Chapter 21 of ACI 318-05 (ACI Committee June 2009 ACI Structural Journal if the discussion is received by January 1, 2009.

488 ACI Structural Journal/July-August 2008


concrete compressive strengths varied from 1991 to 7395 psi
ACI member Cevdet K. Gulec is a Graduate Student Researcher at the State University of
New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. He received his BS from Istanbul Technical University, (13.7 to 51 MPa); the horizontal web reinforcement ratios ranged
Istanbul, Turkey, in 2002 and his MS from the State University of New York at Buffalo in between 0.00 and 0.0161; and the vertical web reinforcement
2005. His research interests include the seismic design of reinforced concrete structures.
ratios ranged between 0.00 and 0.0287. Boundary
ACI member Andrew S. Whittaker is a Professor of structural engineering at the element reinforcement was provided in 99 of the 120 walls
State University of New York at Buffalo. He received his BS from the University of in addition to the conventional vertical web reinforcement
Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, in 1977 and his MS and PhD from the University of
California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, in 1985 and 1988, respectively. He is a member of with boundary element reinforcement ratios up to 0.128.
ACI Committee 349, Reinforced Concrete Nuclear Structures. His research interests Fourteen of the 120 walls in the dataset did not have horizontal
include earthquake and blast engineering, performance-based design, and seismic web reinforcement, 12 did not have vertical web reinforcement,
protective systems.
and seven had neither horizontal nor vertical web reinforcement
Bozidar Stojadinovic, FACI, is an Associate Professor of structural engineering at and included only boundary element reinforcement at wall
the University of California-Berkeley. He received his Dipl.Ing. in civil engineering
from the University of Belgrade, Serbia, in 1988; his MS from Carnegie Mellon
ends. The reported yield stress of the wall vertical web
University, Pittsburgh, PA, in 1990; and his PhD in civil engineering from University reinforcement ranged between 43.5 and 88.5 ksi (300 and
of California-Berkeley in 1995. He is a member of ACI Committees 335, Composite 610 MPa), and that of the horizontal web reinforcement
and Hybrid Structures; 341, Earthquake-Resistant Concrete Bridges; 349, Concrete
Nuclear Structures; 374, Performance-Based Seismic Design of Concrete Structures; ranged between 47.3 and 108.1 ksi (326 and 745 MPa). The
E803, Faculty Network Coordinating Committee; and Joint ACI-ASCE Committee reported yield stress for the boundary element reinforcement
445, Shear and Torsion. His research interests include probabilistic performance-
based seismic design of nuclear structures and bridges.
ranged between 43.5 and 84.8 ksi (300 and 585 MPa). Figure 3
summarizes the 120 walls studied herein with respect to
aspect ratio (presented in terms of height-to-length and
EXPERIMENTAL DATA moment-to-shear) and horizontal web reinforcement ratio:
A significant number of tests of squat reinforced concrete these are two principal parameters used to predict the
walls were conducted from 1950 to date in countries strength of squat walls. The wide range of values of the
including the U.S., Canada, Chile, England, France,
Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, Portugal,
Mexico, and Taiwan. Most of these studies have focused on
the peak shear strength of squat walls and included tests on
three types of cross sections, namely rectangular, barbell
(rectangular section with columns at wall ends), and flanged
(I-shaped cross section). Gulec (2005) reviewed and
catalogued the results of tests of 352 reinforced concrete
squat walls (192 walls with barbells, 49 walls with flanges,
111 rectangular walls). The authors expanded the database in
2006 to include additional 37 rectangular wall tests. The data
from the 148 rectangular wall tests were assembled from
Alexander et al. (1973), Hirosawa (1975), Cardenas et al.
(1980), Hernandez (1980), Synge (1980), Endebrock et al.
(1985), Maier and Thrlimann (1985), Wiradinata (1985),
Pilette (1987), Wasiewicz (1988), Huang and Sheu (1988,
1994), Lefas et al. (1990), Lefas and Kotsovos (1990), Rothe
(1992), Maier (1992), Cheng (1992), Cheng et al. (1994),
Cheng and Yang (1996), Mohammadi-Doostdar (1994),
Pilakoutas and Elnashai (1995a,b), Hidalgo et al. (1998,
2002), Salonikios et al. (1999), Xie and Xiao (2000), Lopes
(2001a,b), and Greifenhagen and Lestuzzi (2005).
This study addresses the responses of rectangular walls
only. Test specimens were selected based on the following
criteria: 1) a minimum web thickness of 2 in. (51 mm); 2)
symmetric reinforcement layout; 3) no diagonal reinforcement
or additional wall-to-foundation reinforcement to control
sliding shear; and 4) aspect ratios (hw /lw) less than or equal
to 2.0, corresponding to a maximum moment-shear ratio*
(M/Vlw) of 2.13. The data for the 28 walls of the 148 that did
not meet all of the aforementioned criteria were excluded
from the analysis that is presented herein.
Figure 2 presents summary information on the 120 rectangular
walls considered in this study. The web thicknesses ranged
from 2.36 to 6.30 in. (60 to 160 mm); the wall lengths varied
between 23.6 and 118.1 in. (600 and 3000 mm); and the wall Fig. 2Histograms of geometric, material, and loading
heights varied between 19.7 and 78.7 in. (500 and 2000 mm). properties of 120 walls. (Note: 1 in. = 25.4 mm; 1 ksi =
Thirty-four walls were tested with coexisting axial loads that 6.895 MPa.)
ranged between 0.022Aw fc and 0.182Aw fc; the reported

Some authors used cube strength rather than cylinder strength to report compressive

*Moment-shear
strength of concrete: cube strengths were converted to cylinder strengths per Mindess
ratios are normalized by actual wall length herein. et al. (2003).

ACI Structural Journal/July-August 2008 489


horizontal web reinforcement ratio in the aspect ratio V n2 = V c + V s 10 f c t w d 1 (2)
interval of 0.5 and 2.0 is notable.
The selected walls were tested using one of these three
types of loading: monotonic (static), cyclic (quasi-static), Nu d1
V c = 3.3 f c t w d 1 + -----------
- (3)
and dynamic. Monotonically-loaded specimens (26 of 120) 4l w
were subjected to incrementally increasing loads in one
direction until failure. Cyclically-loaded specimens (91 of
0.2N
l w 1.25 f c + -------------u-
120) were loaded in the plane of the wall with incremented
forces or displacements until failure. Dynamic tests (three of lw tw
120) were conducted using earthquake simulators. V c = 0.6 f c + ---------------------------------------------------
- tw d1 (4)
Mu lw
------- ----
Vu 2
PUBLISHED EQUATIONS FOR PREDICTING
PEAK SHEAR STRENGTH OF SQUAT
REINFORCED CONCRETE WALLS
A v f yh d 1
Five sets of equations based on the procedures provided in V s = ----------------- (5)
Chapter 21 of ACI 318-05 (ACI Committee 318 2005), s
Chapter 11 of ACI 318-05 (ACI Committee 318 2005),
Barda et al. (1977), ASCE/SEI 43-05 (ASCE 2005), and Per Section 11.10.6 of ACI 318-05, the shear strength
Wood (1990) are used to predict the peak shear resistance of provided by concrete is taken as the lesser of the values
the 120 rectangular walls. provided by Eq. (3) and (4), Eq. (4) does not apply if Mu/Vu
ACI 318-05 provides two semi-empirical equations, both lw/2 0, and the peak shear stress is limited to 10 f c psi
based on the modified truss analogy approach, to predict the (0.83 f c MPa). The minimum horizontal web reinforcement
peak shear strength of squat reinforced concrete walls. One ratio is 0.25%. The minimum vertical web reinforcement ratio
equation is provided in ACI 318-05, Section 21.7 is given by
(Special reinforced concrete structural walls and coupling
beams) for seismic design. The equation in Section 11.10 h
v = 0.0025 + 0.5 2.5 -----w- ( h 0.0025 ) (6)
(Special provisions for walls) is used for general design. lw
Equation Set I (Eq. (1)) is from Section 21.7 of ACI 318-05
Equation Set III (Eq. (7)) was proposed by Barda et al.
V n1 = ( c f c + h f yh)A w 10 f c A w (1) (1977) to predict the peak shear strength of squat walls

h Nu
V n3 = 8 f c 2.5 f c -----w- + ------------
- + v f yv t w d 2
Chapter 21 of ACI 318-05 imposes an upper limit of
(7)
10 f c psi (0.83 f c MPa) on peak shear stress; the limit is l w 4l w t w
intended to prevent diagonal compression failure. A lower
limit of 0.25% is imposed on the horizontal and vertical web
reinforcement ratios. For walls with aspect ratios less than or Equation Set IV is those of Eq. 4.2-4 and 4.2-3 of ASCE/
equal to 2.0, ACI 318-05, Chapter 21, requires that the vertical SEI 43-05 (Eq. (8) through (10)) to predict the peak shear
web reinforcement ratio be no less than the horizontal strength of squat walls with barbells or flanges. This equation set
can also be used for near-rectangular walls with small
web reinforcement ratio.
barbells or flanges when the total plan area of the wall is only
The procedure to predict the peak shear strength in Section slightly greater than that of the web alone. This equation set is
11.10 of ACI 318-05 is given by Eq. (2) through (5) applicable for walls with aspect ratios hw/lw 2 and vertical
(Equation Set II). and horizontal web reinforcement ratios less than or equal
to 1%. If the reinforcement ratios exceed 1%, the combined
reinforcement ratio se (calculated using Eq. (10)) is limited to
1%. ASCE/SEI 43-05 (ASCE 2005) imposes an upper limit
of 20 f c psi (1.66 f c MPa) on the peak shear stress.

Vn4 = vnd3tw (8)

h Nu
v n = 8.3 f c 3.4 f c -----w- 0.5 + -------------
- + se f y1 20 f c (9)
lw 4l w t w

se = Av + Bh (10)

Equation Set V (Eq. (11)) was proposed in Wood (1990)


to calculate the peak shear strength of squat walls

Fig. 3Summary of 120-wall database with respect to


A vf f y2
aspect ratio and horizontal web reinforcement ratio. (Note: 6 f c A w V n5 = ------------
- 10 f c A w (11)
1 psi = 6.895 kPa.) 4

490 ACI Structural Journal/July-August 2008


COMPARISON OF PREDICTED et al. (1977) and ASCE/SEI 43-05 equations (Vn3 and Vn4,
AND MEASURED RESULTS respectively) overpredict the measured peak strength of 83%
The accuracy and reliability of the five predictive equations and 89% of the 120 walls, respectively. Equation Set V
outlined previously are evaluated using the measured peak (Vn5), developed by Wood (1990), is accurate and reliable
strengths (Vpeak) of the 120 squat rectangular walls. For the because the mean and median values are close to 1.0 and the
cyclically loaded walls, the peak strength was taken from the standard deviation and COV are both relatively small.
first quadrant of the shear force-lateral displacement relationship. ACI 318-05, Chapter 21Figure 5 presents the variation
The 120 squat rectangular walls were divided into four
of Vn1/Vpeak with wall horizontal web reinforcement ratio. The
groups: Group 1: all 120 squat walls; Group 2: ACI 318-05-
dashed line in this figure (and in Fig. 6 and 8) represents the
compliant squat walls; Group 3: shear-critical squat walls;
and Group 4: ACI 318-05-compliant shear-critical squat walls. limiting value of hfyh in Chapter 21.7 of ACI 318-05 for
Grade 60 reinforcement. Values of Vn1/Vpeak greater than 1.0
For each wall in the database, the area centroid of the wall
represent an unconservative estimate of the measured peak
vertical reinforcement in tension (to calculate d2 in Eq. (7))
shear strength. Equation Set I consistently overestimates the
and the location of the resultant tensile force in the vertical
reinforcement (to calculate d1 in Eq. (2) through (5) and d3 peak shear strength of walls with hfyh greater than 350 psi
in Eq. (8)) were computed using a commercially available (2413 kPa). Figure 6 presents the variation of Vn1*/Vpeak
cross section analysis program. Concrete was assumed with wall horizontal web reinforcement ratio, where Vn1* is
unconfined and a standard nonlinear stress-strain relationship calculated using Equation Set I without imposing the upper
was used to model reinforcement. The reported values of shear stress limit of 10 f c psi (0.83 f c MPa). A comparison
geometric (wall cross-sectional layout, reinforcement size, of Fig. 5 and 6 indicates that the upper shear stress limit,
and layout), material ( fc , yield, and fracture stresses for linked to the change of failure mode from diagonal tension to
reinforcement), and loading properties (axial force) were diagonal compression, governs the peak shear strength of
used for the cross-section analysis. The concrete tensile walls with h fyh larger than approximately 500 psi (3447 kPa).
strength was set equal to zero, the compressive failure strain Figure 7 presents the variation of Vn1/Vpeak with moment-
was assumed to be 0.003, and the modulus of elasticity was shear ratio of the wall specimens. Equation Set I provides
taken as 57,000 f c psi (4733 f c Pa . For reinforcement, conservative estimates of the peak shear strength for walls
the strains at the onset of hardening and the fracture strain with moment-shear ratios of 0.5 and less, although it must be
were taken as 0.01 and 0.1, respectively.

Group 1: All 120 squat walls


A statistical presentation of the ratios of the predicted to
measured peak shear strength for the 120 walls in Group 1
are presented in the rows of Table 1 for the five equation sets.
Values in columns two (arithmetic mean) or three (median or
50th percentile) in Table 1 greater than 1.0 indicate that the
corresponding strength equation is unconservative in a mean
or median sense, respectively, namely, the equation over-
estimates the measured peak shear strength. The last column
in the table reports the percentage of unconservative
predictions for the 120 specimens in the group. The standard
deviation (column four) and coefficient of variation (COV)
(column five) are also reported to provide supplemental
information on the dispersion in the ratios. Figure 4 presents the
distributions of the ratios of the predicted peak strength to Fig. 4Distribution of ratio of predicted shear strengths to
measured peak strength for the five procedures using box measured peak shear strengths for all walls.
and whisker plots, which present the lower quartile (Q1),
median (Q2), upper quartile (Q3), and extreme values. The Table 1Statistics of ratio of shear strength
maximum length of a whisker was limited to 1.5 times the predicted using Equation Sets I through V to
interquartile range (IQR) unless its length was governed by measured peak shear strength of all walls
minimum or maximum data points. The data points larger (Group 1)
than Q3 + 1.5 IQR or smaller than Q1 1.5 IQR and are
identified by + in the figure. Standard Percent over-
Mean Median deviation COV Minimum Maximum predictions
The mean and median values of the shear strength ratios Vn1/
presented in Table 1 and Fig. 4 for Equation Sets I (Vn1) and II Vpeak 1.19 1.08 0.53 0.44 0.40 3.51 60
(Vn2) indicate that Equation Set II (Chapter 11 of ACI 318-05) is
Vn2/
the more accurate of the two because the mean ratio for Vpeak
0.97 0.88 0.40 0.41 0.37 2.73 40
Equation Set II is closer to 1.0. The assumption about the
Vn3/
effective shear area of the wall is the principal reason why
Vpeak 1.39 1.30 0.45 0.33 0.59 2.61 83
Equation Set II is more conservative than Equation Set I. In
Equation Set I, the effective shear area is equal to the gross Vn4/
1.46 1.42 0.37 0.26 0.71 2.71 89
Vpeak
area of the wall, lwtw; in Equation Set II, the effective shear
area of the wall is equal to d1tw and smaller than that for Vn5/
Equation Set I. Furthermore, the scatter, as measured by Vpeak 1.01 0.91 0.34 0.34 0.48 2.23 40

standard deviation, is smaller for Equation Set II. The Barda Note: COV = coefficient of variation.

ACI Structural Journal/July-August 2008 491


Fig. 5Variation of ratio of nominal shear strength predicted Fig. 7Variation of ratio of nominal shear strength predicted
using Equation Set I to measured peak shear strength with using Equation Set I to measured peak shear strength with
horizontal web reinforcement ratio. (Note: 1 psi = 6.895 kPa.) moment-to-shear ratio.

Fig. 6Variation of ratio of nominal shear strength predicted Fig. 8Variation of ratio of nominal shear strength predicted
using Equation Set I (without upper stress limit of using Equation Set II to measured peak shear strength with
10 f c ) to measured peak shear strength with horizontal horizontal web reinforcement ratio. (Note: 1 psi = 6.895 kPa.)
web reinforcement ratio). (Note: 1 psi = 6.895 kPa.)
strength of squat rectangular walls. Figure 11, which
noted that the sample size in this range of moment-shear presents the variation of measured peak shear strength
ratio values is extremely small. normalized by the product of f c and (d3tw) with the
combined reinforcement ratio (se fy1), shows that the
ACI 318-05, Chapter 11Figure 8 presents the variation
20 f c psi (1.66 f c MPa) upper bound on peak shear
of Vn2/Vpeak with wall horizontal web reinforcement ratio. Most
stress was not reached by any of the 120 walls. The utility of
of the unconservative strength predictions correspond to
this upper limit on shear stress is highly questionable.
values of h fyh greater than 350 psi (2413 kPa). Most of the
predictions of peak shear strength are conservative for values of Wood (1990)Figure 12 presents the variation of Vn5/
h fyh less than 300 psi (2068 kPa). The upper stress limit of Vpeak with Avf fy2/Aw , where Avf is the total area of wall
Equation Set II governs the calculated strengths of walls with vertical reinforcement. Woods (1990) equation (Equation
h fyh larger than 500 psi (3447 kPa). Set V) becomes more conservative as the vertical reinforcement
ratio increases. One hundred and ten of the 120 predictions
Barda et al. (1977)Equation Set III is based on the work
of peak shear strength were governed by the lower limit on
of Barda et al. (1977) who tested eight squat reinforced
shear stress of 6 f c psi (0.5 f c MPa); none of the
concrete walls with flanges. Figure 9 presents the variation
predictions was governed by the upper limit of shear stress.
of Vn3/Vpeak with wall vertical web reinforcement ratio.*
Of the five sets of predictive equations, Woods (1990)
Equation Set III substantially overestimates the peak shear
equation provides the best estimates of peak shear strength
strength of rectangular walls for v fyv greater than 200 psi
of rectangular squat walls, with the smallest coefficient of
(1379 kPa).
variation and mean and median values of 1.01 and 0.91,
ASCE/SEI 43-05 (ASCE 2005)Figure 10 presents the respectively. Ninety percent of the strength ratios determined
variation of Vn4/Vpeak with the combined wall reinforcement using this equation ranged between 0.50 and 1.50.
ratio (se fy1). Equation Set IV overestimates the peak shear
Group 2: ACI 318-05-compliant squat walls
*Equation Set III uses the vertical web reinforcement ratio to calculate peak shear
Chapter 21 of ACI 318-05 requires that reinforcement in
strength and not the horizontal web reinforcement used in previous strength calculations. structural walls be continuous and uniformly distributed

492 ACI Structural Journal/July-August 2008


across the shear plane; web reinforcement ratios v and h strength as determined by cross section analysis. Seventy-three
be no less than 0.25%; and, if the aspect ratio hw /lw does not of the 120 squat walls were judged shear-critical.
exceed 2.0, that the vertical web reinforcement ratio v be no Figure 13 presents the variation of Vflex/Vpeak ratio with
less than the horizontal web reinforcement ratio h. Table 2 moment-shear ratio, where Vflex is the shear force associated
presents similar data to Table 1, but for only those 56 (of with the development of wall flexural strength (hereafter
120) squat walls in the database that comply with require- referred to as shear-flexural strength). The data points in the
ments of ACI 318-05. shaded region correspond to the shear-critical walls that
A comparison of the mean, median, and percentage of form this group. Figure 13 reveals, as expected, that walls
over-predictions in Tables 1 and 2 shows that Equation with small moment-shear ratios are generally shear-critical
Sets I through V are more unconservative if only ACI and that walls with moment-shear ratios of 1.5 and greater
318-05-compliant walls are considered. Woods (1990) are generally flexure-critical.
equation provides the best estimate of peak shear strength Table 3 summarizes results for the shear-critical walls.
with a median value of Vn5/Vpeak equal to 1.01 and a COV of Figure 14 presents box-and-whisker plots, similar to Fig. 4,
0.34. Equation Set II yields a median value of Vn2/Vpeak for the shear-critical walls. If the dataset is limited to these
equal to 1.00 but the COV associated with this equation set walls, a comparison of results presented in Tables 1 and 3
(0.38) is greater than that of Equation Set V. The equations shows a reduction in the percentage of unconservative
of Chapter 11 of ACI 318-05 provide the most conservative predictions for Equation Sets I through III. Woods (1990)
median predictions of peak shear strength for the ACI 318-05- equation (Equation Set V) best estimates the shear strength
compliant walls. of shear-critical walls with a median value of the ratio Vn5/
Vpeak equal to 0.93 and a relatively small COV. The equations
Group 3: Shear-critical squat walls of Chapter 11 of ACI 318-05 provide the most conservative
A shear-critical wall was identified as a wall with estimations as measured by median results. The procedures
measured peak shear strength less than the shear force of Barda et al. (1977) and ASCE/SEI 43-05 are substantially
associated with the development of expected flexural unconservative for shear-critical walls.

Fig. 9Variation of ratio of nominal shear strength predicted Fig. 11Variation of measured peak shear strength normalized
using Equation Set III to measured peak shear strength with by product of f c and d3tw with combined reinforcement ratio
vertical reinforcement ratio. (Note: 1 psi = 6.895 kPa.) (sefy1). (Note: 1 psi = 6.895 kPa.)

Fig. 10Variation of ratio of nominal shear strength predicted


using Equation Set IV to measured peak shear strength Fig. 12Variation of ratio of nominal shear strength predicted
with combined reinforcement ratio (sefy1). (Note: 1 psi = using Equation Set V to measured peak shear strength with
6.895 kPa.) Avffy2 normalized by total wall area. (Note: 1 psi = 6.895 kPa.)

ACI Structural Journal/July-August 2008 493


Figure 15 presents the variation of c (see Eq. (1)) with of the walls either did not fail in diagonal tension and/or the
moment-shear ratio, where c was back-calculated from the horizontal reinforcement did not yield. Importantly, the
measured peak shear strengths, assuming yielding of the scatter in the prediction of the parameter is significant. No
horizontal web reinforcement. The data of Fig. 15 attempt to conclusions related to appropriate values for c as a function
isolate the concrete contribution to shear strength per of M/Vlw can be drawn from this dataset aside from the use
Chapter 21.7 of ACI 318-05, assuming that the horizontal of c = 3 across a range of moment-shear ratios of 0 < M/Vlw <
web reinforcement yields. The piecewise linear representation 1.5 is likely inappropriate.
of c per Eq. (21.7) of ACI 318-05 is also shown in the
figure. The negative values of c in Fig. 15 show that some
Group 4: ACI 318-05-compliant shear-critical
squat walls
The 24 squat walls in Group 4 are both ACI 318-05-
compliant and shear critical. Table 4 summarizes the results
for these walls. A comparison of the results presented in
Tables 3 and 4 shows an improvement in the predictions of
Equation Sets I, II, and V for the Group 4 walls in terms of
standard deviations. Woods (1990) equation once again
provides the best estimates of the peak shear strength of ACI
318-05-compliant shear-critical walls with a median value of
1.00 for Vn5 /Vpeak and a relatively small COV. The equations
of Chapter 11 of ACI 318-05 again provide the most
conservative estimates of peak shear strength as measured
by median results. The equations of Barda et al. (1977) and
ASCE/SEI 43-05 provide substantially unconservative
predictions of peak shear strength for ACI 318-05-compliant
Fig. 13Variation of ratio of shear-flexural strength to shear-critical walls.
measured peak shear strength with moment-to-shear ratio.
Table 2Statistics of ratio of shear strength
predicted using Equation Sets I through V to
measured peak shear strength of ACI 318-05-
compliant walls (Group 2)
Standard Percent over-
Mean Median deviation COV Minimum Maximum predictions
Vn1/
Vpeak 1.26 1.08 0.52 0.41 0.66 2.67 61

Vn2/
1.00 0.86 0.38 0.38 0.49 2.03 41
Vpeak
Vn3/
1.61 1.58 0.44 0.27 0.91 2.61 96
Vpeak
Vn4/
1.40 1.35 0.41 0.29 0.71 2.35 82
Vpeak
Vn5/
Fig. 14Distribution of ratio of the predicted shear 1.01 0.92 0.35 0.34 0.48 1.97 46
Vpeak
strengths to measured peak shear strength considering only Note: COV = coefficient of variation.
shear-critical walls.

Table 3Statistics of ratio of shear strength


predicted using Equation Sets I through V to
measured peak shear strength of shear-critical
walls (Group 3)
Standard Percent over-
Mean Median deviation COV Minimum Maximum predictions
Vn1/
Vpeak 1.09 1.00 0.54 0.49 0.40 3.51 49

Vn2/
0.92 0.86 0.42 0.45 0.37 2.73 30
Vpeak
Vn3/
1.24 1.23 0.40 0.32 0.59 2.51 73
Vpeak
Vn4/
1.48 1.41 0.36 0.24 0.71 2.71 92
Vpeak
Vn5/
1.03 0.93 0.33 0.32 0.57 2.23 44
Fig. 15Variation of c with moment-shear ratio for Vpeak
shear-critical walls. Note: COV = coefficient of variation.

494 ACI Structural Journal/July-August 2008


STRENGTH DEGRADATION IN SQUAT Wood (1990). Results were presented using four groups of
REINFORCED CONCRETE WALLS squat walls: 1) all 120 walls; 2) ACI 318-05-compliant
Figure 1 presents the first quadrant of a load-displacement walls; 3) shear-critical walls; and 4) ACI 318-05-compliant
relationship for a squat reinforced concrete wall tested under shear-critical walls.
cyclic loading (Synge 1980). The peak shear strength of the The key conclusions of this study are:
wall, Vpeak, was recorded at a horizontal displacement of 1. The scatter in the values of peak shear strength predicted
10 mm (0.39 in.), corresponding to a story drift of 0.67%. by all equations is substantial. Most of the conservative
The resistance of the wall diminished with repeated cycling predictions of shear strength were obtained for lightly
to displacements equal to or greater than 10 mm (0.39 in.). reinforced walls;
To quantify the loss of shear strength with repeated 2. The best predictions of peak shear strength of rectangular
cycling for all walls in the database, shear strengths Vpeak2 squat walls were obtained using Woods equation, which
and Vpeak3 were extracted at the displacement, peak, gave median and mean values of the ratio of computed-
corresponding to the peak strength, Vpeak, in the second and measured peak strength close to 1.0 and consistently
third excursions at or beyond peak, respectively. Note that produced the smallest COV for all four groups of walls. Most
the choice of loading protocol will influence the rate of of Woods (1990) estimates of peak shear strength were
degradation, but that is not quantified herein. Figure 16 governed by the lower limit on wall shear stress.
presents the mean and standard deviation (in parenthesis) of 3. The nominal strength equations of Chapter 11 of ACI
Vpeak2/Vpeak and Vpeak3/Vpeak for three ranges of wall aspect 318-05 generally provided the most conservative (lowest)
ratio. The greatest percentage loss of strength with repeated estimates of peak shear strength;
cycling is observed in those walls with aspect ratios less than 4. The procedures of Barda (1977) and ASCE/SEI 43-05
1.0: the mean values of Vpeak2/Vpeak and Vpeak3/Vpeak were consistently overestimated the peak shear strength of the
73% and 43%, respectively. The values of Vpeak2/Vpeak and rectangular walls in the database and should not be used to
Vpeak3/Vpeak increase with an increase in the wall aspect proportion shear walls with rectangular cross sections.
ratio, which indicates that strength degradation is most
severe for walls with low aspect ratios. The dispersions are
greater in the third cycle than the second for all aspect ratios.
Figure 17 presents the ratios of the shear strength
predicted using Equation Set I to Vpeak2 and Vpeak3 as a
function of the horizontal web reinforcement ratio. As
expected, the equation substantially overestimates the
second- and third-excursion shear strengths.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS


The experimentally measured peak shear strengths of
120 squat rectangular walls were compared with nominal
shear strengths predicted by five equations presented in
ACI 318-05, Barda et al. (1977), ASCE/SEI 43-05, and

Table 4Statistics of ratio of shear strength


predicted using Equation Sets I through V to
measured peak shear strength of ACI 318-05- Fig. 16Means and standard deviations (in parenthesis)
compliant shear-critical walls (Group 4) of ratios of second- and third-cycle shear strengths normalized
by measured peak shear strength as function of aspect
Standard Percent over- ratio for all walls.
Mean Median deviation COV Minimum Maximum predictions
Vn1/
Vpeak 1.11 0.99 0.43 0.39 0.66 2.06 46

Vn2/
0.91 0.85 0.33 0.37 0.49 1.60 29
Vpeak
Vn3/
Vpeak 1.42 1.31 0.40 0.28 0.91 2.51 92

Vn4/
1.43 1.35 0.36 0.25 0.71 2.11 88
Vpeak
Vn5/
1.00 0.89 0.30 0.30 0.57 1.67 46
Vpeak
Note: COV = coefficient of variation.

Table 5Variables used in ASCE 43 strength


equations (Equation Set IV)
hw /lw 0.5 A=1 B=0
0.5 hw /lw 1.5 A = hw /lw + 1.5 B = hw /lw 0.5 Fig. 17Variation of ratio of nominal shear strength predicted
hw /lw 1.5
using Equation Set I to Vpeak2 and Vpeak3 with horizontal web
A=0 B=1
reinforcement ratio. (Note: 1 psi = 6.895 kPa.)

ACI Structural Journal/July-August 2008 495


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