Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering

, Volume 16, Issue 10, pp 4825–4860 | Cite as

Plastic hinge analysis for lightly reinforced and unconfined concrete structural walls

  • Ryan D. Hoult
  • Helen M. Goldsworthy
  • Elisa Lumantarna
Original Research Paper


Poor performance of lightly reinforced and unconfined concrete structural walls have been observed in recent earthquake events. This research investigates the displacement capacity of such walls by comparing the results of a series of state-of-the-art finite element analyses for a range of different structural walls to that estimated using plastic hinge analyses. The common expressions used in estimating the yield curvature, yield displacement and plastic displacement are scrutinised for these types of walls. Some recommendations are given to improve the prediction of the displacement capacity of lightly reinforced and unconfined rectangular and C-shaped walls for flexural actions using a plastic hinge analysis. Importantly, a parameter has been recommended to be used in a “modified” approach for estimating the nominal yield displacement of lightly reinforced concrete walls. Different expressions are also recommended depending on the amount of longitudinal reinforcement used in the wall in comparison to that required to initiate secondary cracking. This is important for providing better estimations of the displacement capacity of RC structural wall buildings in low-to-moderate seismic regions such that vulnerability studies can be conducted.


Low-to-moderate Shear walls Cores Displacement-based Plastic hinge analysis 



The support of the Commonwealth of Australia through the Cooperative Research Centre program is acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan D. Hoult
    • 1
    • 2
  • Helen M. Goldsworthy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elisa Lumantarna
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Infrastructure EngineeringUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research CentreMelbourneAustralia

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