Postprint version. Published in Structures Congress 2017 Proceedings, April 4, 2017, pages 418-433.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1061/9780784480410.035.
Reinforced concrete structural walls are common in mid- to high-rise structures in high seismic regions, and are expected to have good strength and ductility characteristics if designed in accordance with ACI 318-14. However, experimental and analytical investigations of reinforced concrete structural walls and isolated boundary element prisms indicate that the existing design provisions may be insufficient to provide ductile, flexure-dominated response under cyclic loading. Walls designed with an ACI compliant boundary element length are susceptible to shear-compression failures below the maximum ACI allowable shear stress of 10Acv√fc’. Also of concern is the frequent use of thinner walls in modern design; as the wall’s cross-sectional aspect ratio increases, such brittle shear-compression failures occur at even smaller shear stress values. In regards to detailing, special boundary elements with intermediate cross-ties exhibit a minimal improvement in confinement compared to ordinary boundary elements. This response can be linked to inadequacies in multiple code design parameters, including: vertical spacing and area of confinement steel, horizontal spacing and type of restraint to longitudinal bars, and development length provided for transverse reinforcement. Recent in-field wall failures have prompted concerns related to the minimum code required vertical and horizontal web shear reinforcement, as well as the relative amount of vertical-to-horizontal web steel. This paper examines ACI 318-14 special boundary element and web reinforcement provisions and provides design recommendations intended to improve wall performance as compared with current ACI requirements.
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