Implications of yield penetration on confinement requirements of r.c. wall elements

  • Tastani, Souzana P. (Department of Civil Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace (DUTh)) ;
  • Pantazopoulou, Stavroula J. (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Cyprus)
  • Received : 2014.05.25
  • Accepted : 2015.04.27
  • Published : 2015.10.25


Seismic-design procedures for walls require that the confinement in the critical (plastic hinge) regions should extend over a length in the compression zone of the cross section at the wall base where concrete strains in the Ultimate Limit State (ULS) exceed the limit of 0.0035. In a performance-based framework, confinement is linked to required curvature ductility so that the drift demand at the performance point of the structure for the design earthquake may be met. However, performance of flexural walls in the recent earthquakes in Chile (2010) and Christchurch (2011) indicates that the actual compression strains in the critical regions of many structural walls were higher than estimated, being responsible for several of the reported failures by toe crushing. In this study, the method of estimating the confined region and magnitude of compression strain demands in slender walls are revisited. The objective is to account for a newly identified kinematic interaction between the normal strains that arise in the compression zone, and the lumped rotations that occur at the other end of the wall base due to penetration of bar tension yielding into the supporting anchorage. Design charts estimating the amount of yield penetration in terms of the resulting lumped rotation at the wall base are used to quantify the increased demands for compression strain in the critical section. The estimated strain increase may exceed by more than 30% the base value estimated from the existing design expressions, which explains the frequently reported occurrence of toe crushing even in well confined slender walls under high drift demands. Example cases are included in the presentation to illustrate the behavioral parametric trends and implications in seismic design of walls.


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