NEESR-SG: Performance-Based Design of Squat Reinforced Concrete Shear Walls

NSF and NEES funded large scale low aspect ratio (height/length) reinforced concrete shear wall testing is underway in the SEESL Laboratory at the University at Buffalo. The specimens were constructed in two phases. First, a foundation reaction block was poured which serves two purposes:

  1. To anchor the specimen to the laboratory strong floor
  2. act as the relatively rigid foundation a low-aspect ratio reinforced concrete shear wall interacts with when subjected to seismic loading
The wall to be tested was made during the second phase of construction. Each specimen has the same rectangular cross section and is reinforced with orthogonal reinforcement. The foundation blocks have 2-inch diameter sleeves located in a 2-foot grid; allowing post-tensioning of steel bars to anchor the specimen to the strong floor and prevent global displacement of the entire structure during testing.

Test specimens will be subjected to “in plane” quasi-static cyclic loading generated by two 450kip actuators reacting off the SEESL strong wall. Loading protocols were determined with the use of FEA and prediction of the specimen’s force-displacement behavior. The data collected is expected to lead to better understanding of and ability to predict the shear strength, force displacement behavior, and health monitoring of low aspect ratio reinforced concrete shear walls.

ICcrack and Gigapixel Images

As part of this project we are also developing a crack measurement and propagation program ICCrack that is going to use Multiple Gigapixel images taken at each peak cycle to track the cracks. You can browse some giagapixel images from our first test here:
Please note you'll be asked to install HD View if you are running a PC or Silverlight if you are on a Mac in order to view the images, please, do so.


This project is supported by the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number CMMI-0829978.

SEESL - Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory
212 Ketter Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA
phone. +1(716)645-3019       fax. +1(716)645-3733