Parametric study of timber shear walls

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Virginia Tech

Timber shear walls comprise the vertical element of the lateral force resisting system in many low-rise buildings in North America. A typical shear wall consists of a solid panel product connected to a light timber frame with either a dowel-type fastener, such as nails, or elastomeric adhesives. Shear walls vary in size, depending on their use in a structure, and sometimes contain openings for windows and doors. These changes in wall configuration have an effect on the response of shear walls.

A parametric study was performed to determine the effect that aspect ratio (ratio of wall length to height) and openings have on the response of timber shear walls subjected to monotonic and seismic loading. Twenty-five shear wall models of various aspect ratios and opening configurations were created and then analyzed using WALSEIZ, a program developed by the author which utilizes finite element analysis to analyze shear wall models. The maximum resistance, initial stiffness, distribution of forces in the wall and at the reactions, and maximum relative drift (ratio of displacement at the top of the wall to wall height), seismic base shear, and velocity and acceleration at the top of the wall were recorded and examined for each model. The results from the parametric study were used to develop a modified design procedure for timber shear walls.

shear wall, seismic, Finite element method, aspect ratio, openings