You are on page 1of 10


Indian Society of Earthquake Technology

Department of Earthquake Engineering Building
IIT Roorkee, Roorkee

October 20-21, 2012

Paper No. D022



S. Greeshma1 and K.P.Jaya2

1 2
Assistant Professor (Senior Grade), Associate Professor, Division of Structural Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering,
Anna University, Chennai, India,


Over the last few years, intensive research has been carried out on the behaviour of shear wall structures
under various types of loading. However, there is paucity of information exists in the area of detailing of
shear wall to floor slab connection. Hence an attempt has been made to understand the behaviour of the
connection with respect to conventional and two non-conventional detailing in order to provide an integral
and better performing structural system. The present work focuses on comparing the performance of the
conventional (DT1) and two types of non-conventional (DT2 and DT3) joints subjected to cyclic loading.
DT1 joint is detailed in conventional manner with the provision of U hooks connecting shear wall and
slab, where as DT2 and DT3 joints are of non-conventional in nature. DT2 type of detailing is provided
with the slab bars bent at 90º at the joint along with the vertical reinforcements of the shear wall. DT3
type of detailing differs from DT2 type, with the provision of extra U hooks connecting slab and shear
wall. One-fourth scale model was adopted for all the connections. The analytical modelling has been
carried out using the finite element software package ANSYS. The models were subjected to
displacement-controlled lateral loading applied at the slab end. The performance of the connections in
terms of the load-displacement hysteresis behaviour, ultimate load carrying capacity, energy dissipation
and ductility factor were compared with that of the conventional joint (DT1). The non-conventionally
detailed model (DT3) was found to perform better when compared to the conventionally detailed model in
terms of strength, ductility and energy dissipation. In order to check the adequacy of the analytical models,
experiments were conducted on 1/4th scale models of DT3 model and the results were compared.

Keywords: Shear wall, Slab, Detailing, Ductility, Energy Dissipation.


In seismic zones, building resistance to earthquakes is often ensured by adopting structural systems where
seismic actions are assigned to structural walls, designed for horizontal forces and gravity loads, while
columns and beams are designed only for gravity loads. These systems, being stiffer than earthquake
resisting frames, allow a better displacement control, limiting damage in internal partition walls and non
structural elements. On the contrary, frame structures generally exhibit greater ductility, at the expense of
large displacements and interaction problems between structural and non-structural elements.
During an earthquake, it is the destruction of buildings and structures which mainly causes loss of lives.
The vast extent of damage and the consequent loss of life associated with earthquakes reflect the poor
construction practice in India. Existing multistoried buildings in earthquake prone regions of India are
vulnerable to severe damage under earthquakes as proved by the Bhuj earthquake January 26, 2001. The
structures which are less earthquake resistant succumb during an earthquake and adds more to the
damage. In order to build earthquake resistant structures, considerable research and dissemination of
information is necessary in the design, detailing and performance of earthquake resistant structural


Slab-wall connections in structure resisting lateral forces constitute a potential weak link in the preferred
load path from slabs to walls, thereby influencing the pattern of lateral load distribution to the vertical
members of system. One of the most critical areas in the design and construction of seismic resistant
structures is the shear wall-slab joint. Structural responses during recent earthquakes (the Northridge
earthquake January 17, 1994, the Bhuj earthquake January 26, 2001) indicate that joint failures are caused
mainly by inadequate ductility due to improper connection between the shear wall and the floor slab.
Even though the significance of the joints in sustaining large deformations and forces during earthquakes
is enormous, specific guidelines are not explicitly included in Indian codes of practice (IS 456: 2000 and
IS 13920: 1993). Hence an attempt has been made to understand the behaviour of the connection with the
conventional detailing (as per British Code) and proposed non - conventional detailing options, thereby to
provide an integral and better performance of structural system.

Coull et al. (1985) described the effect of local elastic wall deformations on the interaction between
diaphragms and flanged shear walls. A finite element analysis is made of the interaction between laterally
loaded flanged shear walls and floor slabs in cross wall structures. Particular attention is paid to the
influence of local elastic wall deformations on the effective width and coupling stiffness of the slab, and
on the critical bending moments in the slab. Bhatt et al. (1998) presented the result of an analytical study
of strength and stiffness of shear wall – floor slab connections using a specially developed three
dimensional non linear finite element program. The program incorporated 20 node isoparametric brick
element with embedded steel. The accuracy of theoretical predations was tested against result of
experimental work on reinforced concrete models. Park et al (2006) tested steel coupling beam–wall
connections in a hybrid coupled shear wall system, and the seismic performance of the connection was
examined under cyclic loading. The test variables included the reinforcement details that confer a ductile
behaviour on the steel coupling beam–wall connections. It investigates the seismic behaviour of the steel
coupling beam–wall connections in terms of the failure mechanism, hysteretic response, strength,
stiffness, and dissipated energy characteristics. Memon et al (2008) carried out systematic research since
long time on different aspects of analysis and design of tall buildings consisting of shear walls,
connecting beams and coupling slabs.


A six storied R.C. building with exterior shear wall (12 m x 7.5 m in plan) is modeled, analyzed and
designed using ETABS software and the shear forces, bending moments and axial forces around the wall-
slab interface due to different load combinations were obtained. Seismic analysis was performed using
equivalent lateral force method given in the Indian Standard Code IS 1893:2002. One of the exterior shear
wall and the slab was designed and detailed as per the design criteria of IS 456:2000 and IS 1893:2002
incorporation of the ductile detailing as per IS 13920:1993. The details of the reinforcements provided for
the shear wall and the slab is shown in Table 1.
Having designed the structure, the shear wall – slab joint is subjected to finite element analysis and
experimental investigation. Since the analytical model has to be validated through experimental results, a
scale factor of four has been adopted for both analytical and experimental model. Thus the original
structure has been reduced four times following the laws of similitude. Following the laws of similitude,
the reinforcements are also reduced to 1/4th of the design areas of the reinforcements of the prototype.

Table 1 Details of reinforcement in shear wall and slab

Vertical bars 24- 24 Φ bars (2 layers)

Shear wall Horizontal bars 16 Φ bars @ 300 c/c
Stirrups 8 Φ bars @ 300 c/c
Longitudinal bars –Along the 24- 24 Φ bars (2 layers)
direction of shear wall
Transverse bars – Perpendicular 16 Φ bars @ 300 c/c
to the direction of shear wall

3.1 Description of Model

The models are designated as DT1, DT2 and DT3 depending on the type of detailing as shown in
Figs.1,2, and3.

Fig.1 Shear wall – slab joint for DT1 Model

Fig.2 Shear wall – slab joint for DT2 Model

Fig.3 Shear wall – slab joint for DT3 Model

3.2 Modeling of Shear wall – Slab Joint

For analytical modeling of shear wall – slab joint, ANSYS Multiphysics (Version10) was used. The
elements used were SOLID 65 for concrete and LINK 8 for reinforcement modeling. The material
properties for modeling the wall – slab joint have been adopted according to Wolanski A.J. (2004). The
average 28-day cube strength (fcu) of concrete is 44.22 MPa. The relationship of cylinder strength ( f c' )
and cube strength (fcu) given by the ACI Code as ( f c' =0.8 fcu) and thus the ultimate compressive strength
(fc’) was 35.376 MPa. The uniaxial stress-strain relationship for concrete developed by Desayi and
Krishnan, was adopted for modeling concrete.

3.2.1 Boundary conditions

The shear wall is assumed to be fixed at the base. For this all dofs are constrained at the base of the shear
wall. At the slab end, all the degrees of freedom are constrained except in-plane displacement and
rotations θx and θz as shown in Fig.4. The shear wall – slab joint is subjected to varying lateral load
(reversible cyclic load) at the end of the slab as shown in Fig.5.

Fig.4 Displacement boundary conditions Fig.5 Force boundary conditions

The loading is controlled by drift ratio for both the models as illustrated in Fig.6 (Hwang et al.(2005)),
where the drift ratio is defined as the deflection of the load point divided by the distance between the load
point and the centre line of the shear wall.

Percentage drift

0 Cycle
0 50 100

Fig.6. Loading history


The finite element analysis has been carried out for the shear wall- slab joint subjected to cyclic lateral
drift histories. The displacement convergence criterion was used with the tolerance of 0.001. The
command prompt line input data was adopted for applying the reversible cyclic loading. The analysis type
has been mentioned as transient.


The experimental investigations were carried out at Structural Dynamics Laboratory, Division of
Structural Engineering, Anna University, Chennai. The specimens are tested in a well equipped set up and
given static reverse cyclic loading. To apply the simulated cyclic load on the specimen, 100 kN capacity
hand-controlled screw jacks (Two Nos) was connected to a reaction steel frame. The bottom of the shear
wall surface was attached to two steel channels using 4 high strength threaded rods (in two layers). The
two base channels were, in turn, fastened to two strong I-beam. The latter was post-tensioned to the lab
floor using four high strength post-tensioning rods. Specimens were tested for static reverse cyclic
loading applied at the end of the slab. A constant axial load of 5 T was applied at an eccentricity of 0.5 m
by means of hydraulic jack (40 T capacity) mounted vertically to the loading frame (100 T) to simulate
the axial load and moment at the mid height of the shear wall from the joint assembly. The slab end was
given an external hinge support, which was fastened to the strong reaction floor. The experimental set-up
at laboratory is shown in Fig.7.

Hydraulic pressure (Static Load)

Cyclic Load
Cyclic Load Negative Direction
Positive Direction

Fig.7. Experimental Set-up at Laboratory


Finite element analysis is carried out for all the three types of models. The results of the analysis are
presented as follows.
6.1 U1timate Load Carrying Capacity

The variation in ultimate load carrying capacity for the models for positive and negative direction of
loading is shown in Table 2. It is observed that the ultimate load is higher for DT3 model when compared
to DT2 and DT1 model.

Table 2 Ultimate load carrying capacity of specimens

Ultimate Load (kN)

Positive Negative Average (Pu)
of specimen
direction direction
DT1 16.622 17.111 16.866
DT2 24.917 24.952 24.935
DT3 26.094 26.914 26.504

The increase in ultimate load for DT3 model can be attributed due to the presence of reinforcement in the
critical sections (joint region) which experience higher shear and flexural stresses due to cyclic loading.

6.2 Load – Drift Hysteretic loops

The hysteretic behaviour of DT1 model shows a moderate level of pinching, which may be attributed to
inadequate confinement in the connection region. In addition, DT1 model showed a sudden decrease in
strength. However the other two models (DT2 and DT3) exhibited large, stable loops with little strength
degradation or stiffness degradation as shown in Fig.8.

Fig 8. Load versus drift curve of specimens

6.3 Energy dissipation

Cumulative energy absorbed during each cycle of loading is plotted against corresponding cycle for DT1,
DT2 and DT3 models as shown in Fig.9. It is observed that DT3 model exhibits higher energy dissipation
capacity compared to other two models (DT1 and DT2). The reinforcement (U bars) passing through the
joint had less robust anchorage for DT1 model. In the case of DT3 model, the anchorage of additional
U bars passing through the connection was excellent.

Fig.9 Cumulative energy dissipation curves of specimens


From the above analytical results, it is observed that DT3 model had exhibited higher ultimate strength
and energy dissipation capacity when compared to that with DT2 model as well as DT1 model. Hence
further experimental validation has been carried out for DT3 model alone.

7.1 Ultimate Load Carrying Capacity

It is observed that the experimental ultimate load is matching well with the analytical load obtained from
ANSYS. The maximum variation in ultimate load for DT3 model is minimal (<1%).

7.2 Load – Drift Hysteretic loops and Energy Dissipation

A relative comparison of load – drift hysteretic loop for DT3 model is shown in Fig.10. The load – drift
curve follows almost the same path as that of analytical one. The trend in variation is also same. The
cumulative energy dissipation curves are presented in Fig.11.
Fig.10 Load versus drift curve of DT3 model

Fig.11 Cumulative energy dissipation curves of specimens


The results of the study, presented in this paper, establish the effect of different detailing on the behavior
of exterior shear wall – slab joints. The shear wall and the slab has been modelled using ANSYS
software, using Solid65 element and Link8 element. Following are the conclusions drawn based on the
analytical modeling and experimental investigations carried out to study the behaviour of shear wall-slab
joint under cyclic loading.

1) With respect to load carrying capacity from the analytical study, the specimen has exhibited
higher ultimate strength when the confining U hooks are extended for an effective width of the
slab in addition to the provision of 90° bent slab bars at the joint (DT3) when compared with the
other two models (DT1 and DT2). It is observed that the ultimate strength for DT3 model is 57.14
% higher than that of DT1 model.
2) Spindle-shaped hysteretic loops are observed with large energy dissipation capacity for DT2 and
DT3 models when compared to DT1 model. The enhancement in energy dissipation for DT3 model
is observed to be 89.17 % higher than that of DT1 model.
3) From all these observations, it is concluded that DT3 model exhibited very good performance
with respect to ultimate load and energy dissipation when compared to the other two models (DT1
and DT2 model). Hence experimental studies are carried out only for DT3 model in order to
validate the analytical model.
4) The analytical results with respect to ultimate load and load-drift hysteretic loops are matching
well with the experimental results. The energy dissipation capacity is observed to be higher
during testing than the analytical investigation. However, the maximum variation in energy
dissipation is observed to be for DT3 model and is within 10%.


The authors thank the Technical staff of the Laboratories in Structural Engineering Division, Anna
University Chennai for the assistance provided in conducting the experimental studies. The research
sponsorship from UGC (University Grants Commission, Government of India) under Major Research
Scheme is greatly acknowledged.


1. ANSYS (2011).‘ANSYS User’s Manual Revision 11’. ANSYS, Inc.

2. Bhatt, P., Memon, M. and. Bari, S (1986). ‘Strength of plane shear wall – floor slab junction’,
Proceedings of International symposium on fundamental theory of reinforced and prestressed
concrete., Nanjing, China, 3,541-549.
3. BS EN 1998-1(2005).‘Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance: General Rules, Seismic
Actions and Rules for Buildings’, London, British Standards Institution.
4. Coull, A. and. Wong, Y.C (1985).‘Effect of local elastic wall deformations on the interaction
between floor slabs and flanged shear walls’, Journal of Building and Environment., 20(3),169-179.
5. Desai, P. and. Krishnan, S (1964). ‘Equation for the stress-strain curve of concrete’, ACI Structural
Journal., 61(22),345-350.
6. ETABS (Version 9). ‘ETABS User’s Manual’.
7. Hwang, S.J., Hung, J. L., Ti-Fa, L., Kuo-Chou, W. and Hsin-Hung, T (2005). ‘Role of hoops on
shear strength of reinforced concrete beam-column joints.,ACI Structural Journal., 102(3), 445-
8. IS 13920 (1993). ‘Indian Standard Ductile Detailing of Reinforced Concrete Structures subjected to
Seismic forces’, Bureau of Indian Standards., New Delhi, India.
9. IS 456 (2000). ‘Indian Standard Plain and Reinforced Concrete Code of Practice’, Bureau of Indian
Standards., New Delhi, India.
10. IS 1893-Part 1 (2002). ‘Indian Standard Criteria for Earthquake Resistant Design of Structures’,
Bureau of Indian Standards., New Delhi, India.

11. Memon, M. and Narwani, T.D (2008). ‘Experimental Investigations Regarding Behaviour of Tall
Buildings Subjected to Lateral Loading’, Journal of Quality and Technology Management.,
12. Park, W.S. and. Yun Hyun-Do (2006).‘Seismic Performance of Steel Coupling Beam–Wall
Connections in Panel Shear Failure’, Journal of Constructional Steel Research.,62(10),
13. Wolanski A.J. (2004).‘ Flexural behavior of reinforced and prestressed concrete beams using finite
element analysis’,A Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School., Marquette
University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1-67.