Published in 2019 Proceedings of the Structural Engineers Association of California Convention, August 28, 2019.
A significant number of pre-1980’s non-ductile reinforced concrete (RC) structures in California have been identified as deficient, many of which utilize RC shear wall systems to resist earthquake lateral forces. These non-ductile wall systems are typically lightly reinforced and lack adequate boundary element detailing. Engineers suspect these walls to susceptible to brittle, compression-controlled failure modes due to damage from concrete crushing and bar buckling. As a result, one approach designers are taking is to seek fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) retrofit solutions that improve the compression capacity of high-stressed wall end zone regions based on effectiveness of these approaches with columns.
This paper presents the initial results from a lightly reinforced RC shear wall test without boundary elements intended to be representative of a vintage wall. The experimental test showed that the expected compression-type damage mechanisms were not the primary contributors of wall failure. Rather the failure was attributed to the development of few, large crack planes near the base of the wall and the fracture of most longitudinal bars at the wall-foundation interface. Additionally, the drift capacity was greater than anticipated. Therefore, the original proposed fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) retrofit developed by the authors in collaboration with industry input – wrapping the wall end zones with FRP sheets and thru-wall splay anchors to improve the compression capacity of these regions – may not be a viable approach. The research findings suggest that additional investigations into FRP solutions are necessary for different classes of non-ductile walls and their respective failure types.
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