Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 11, pp 3277–3300 | Cite as

Strength, deformation capacity and failure modes of RC walls under cyclic loading

  • Sofia Grammatikou
  • Dionysis Biskinis
  • Michael N. FardisEmail author
Original Research Paper


Past models for the cyclic strength and deformation capacity of reinforced concrete walls are evaluated and new ones are developed using results from 866 wall tests. On the basis of the observed damage, the failure mode is classified into the following categories: in flexure, in diagonal tension, in diagonal compression, or in sliding shear. Among the past models evaluated are those proposed by two of the authors: (a) for the cyclic strength in diagonal tension after flexural yielding or in diagonal compression and (b) for the ultimate chord rotation capacity under cyclic flexure, which were adopted in Eurocode 8-Part 3 and in fib Model Code 2010. Walls with height-to-length ratio <1.2 (“squat”) are considered separately: past models are evaluated and two new ones are proposed on the basis of 321 cyclic tests. Past models for sliding shear strength are modified, using the results from 55 cyclic tests. The predictions for the failure mode and the cyclic strength and/or deformation capacity agree well with the tests.


Concrete walls Cyclic loading Deformation capacity Ductility Eurocode 8 RC walls Seismic assessment Seismic design Seismic evaluation Shear strength Ultimate deformation 



The research leading to these results receives funding from the Hellenic General Secretariat for Research and Technology under grant ERC-12 of the Operational Program “Education and lifelong learning”, co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund) and national resources. The data for about 200 “squat” walls were provided by Prof. A.Whittaker, SUNY Buffalo.


  1. ACI Committee 318 (2008) Building code requirements for structural concrete and commentary (ACI 318-08). American Concrete Institute, Farmington Hills, MIGoogle Scholar
  2. American Society of Civil Engineers (2005) Seismic design criteria for structures, systems and components in nuclear facilities (ASCE/SEI 43-05). ASCE, Reston, VAGoogle Scholar
  3. Barda F, Hanson JM, Corley WG (1977) Shear strength of low rise walls with boundary elements. Reinforced concrete in seismic zones, SP-53, ACI Special Publication, pp 149–202Google Scholar
  4. Biskinis D, Fardis MN (2010a) Deformations at flexural yielding of members with continuous or lap-spliced bars. Struct Concrete 11(3):127–138Google Scholar
  5. Biskinis D, Fardis MN (2010b) Flexure-controlled ultimate deformations of members with continuous or lap-spliced bars. Struct Concrete 11(2):93–108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Biskinis D, Roupakias G, Fardis MN (2004) Degradation of shear strength of RC members with inelastic cyclic displacements. ACI Struct J 101(6):773–783Google Scholar
  7. CEN (2004). European Standard EN1998-1:2004 Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance. Part 1: General rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings. Comite Europeen de Normalisation. BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  8. CEN (2005). European Standard EN1998-3:2005: Eurocode 8: Design of structures for earthquake resistance. Part 3: Assessment and retrofitting of buildings. Comite Europeen de Normalisation. BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  9. fib (2012) Model Code 2010, Final draft. Bull. 65/66, Federation Internationale du Beton, LausanneGoogle Scholar
  10. French CW, Schultz AE (1991) Minimum available deformation capacity of reinforced concrete beams. In Ghosh SK (ed) ACI Special Publication SP127, American Concrete Institute, pp 363–410Google Scholar
  11. Gulec CK, Whittaker AS (2011) Empirical equations for peak shear strength of low aspect ratio reinforced concrete walls. ACI Struct J 108(1):80–89Google Scholar
  12. Kowalsky MJ, Priestley MJN (2000) Improved analytical model for shear strength of circular reinforced concrete columns in seismic regions. ACI Struct J. 97(3):388–396Google Scholar
  13. Mander JB, Priestley MJN, Park R (1988) Theoretical stress-strain model for confined concrete. ASCE J Struct Engineering 114(8):1804–1826CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Moehle J, Lynn A, Elwood K, Sezen H (2001) Gravity load collapse of building frames during earthquakes. PEER Report: 2nd US-Japan workshop on performance-based design methodology for reinforced concrete building structures. PEER Center, Richmond, CAGoogle Scholar
  15. Panagiotakos TB, Fardis MN (2001) Deformations of reinforced concrete members at yielding and ultimate. ACI Struct J 98(2):135–148Google Scholar
  16. Saatcioglu M (1991) Deformability of reinforced concrete columns. In: Ghosh SK (ed) ACI special publication SP127, American Concrete Institute, pp 421–452Google Scholar
  17. Sheikh SA, Uzumeri SM (1982) Analytical model for concrete confinement in tied columns. ASCE J Struct Engineering 108(ST12):2703–2722Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Grammatikou
    • 1
  • Dionysis Biskinis
    • 1
  • Michael N. Fardis
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.University of PatrasPatrasGreece

Personalised recommendations