Recent Studies on Steel Plate Shear Wall Systems
Steel plate shear walls (SPSWs) have been used as the primary or part of the primary lateral force-resisting system in design and retrofit of buildings. Development and use of low yield point (LYP) steel with considerably low yield stress and high elongation capacity nowadays provides the possibility to design SPSW systems with improved serviceability, structural performance, and enhanced energy absorption characteristics. This paper provides a review of recent studies performed by the first author on the seismic design and retrofit of SPSW systems using LYP steel material. The results and findings of these studies form the groundwork for future research in the design and detailing of cost-effective high-performing SPSW systems.
SPSWs are considered as efficient lateral force-resisting systems which have been in use since the 1970s and offer many advantages over other systems, e.g., rigid and braced frames as well as reinforced concrete shear walls, in terms of cost, performance, and ease of design. A proliferation of research work has been undertaken on the structural behavior and seismic performance of these systems and the results of these studies have been incorporated into design codes and specifications.
The application of SPSWs has been based on two different design philosophies and detailing strategies. Stiffened and/or stocky-web SPSWs with improved buckling stability and high seismic performance features, as mostly used in Japan, and unstiffened and slender-web SPSWs with relatively lower buckling and energy dissipation capacities, as widely used in the United States and Canada.
Presently the development and use of LYP steel with considerably low yield stress (80-120 MPa) and high elongation capacity provides the possibility to combine the merits of the two aforementioned design strategies resulting in high-performing SPSW systems which are cost effective. Although some reported studies have demonstrated the advantages of LYP steel shear walls, various aspects of structural and seismic characteristics of these systems have not been fully investigated. In particular, the linkage between structural specifications and seismic performance and pathways to performance-based designs of these systems are largely undeveloped.
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