Skip to main content
Log in

Response of nonconforming RC shear walls with smooth bars under quasi-static cyclic loading

  • Original Article
  • Published:
Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering Aims and scope Submit manuscript


In this study, an experimental investigation is conducted to determine the behavior of RC shear walls found in old and existing buildings that do not comply with the design rules in modern earthquake standards. Scaled reinforced concrete shear wall specimens are built with smooth bars and low concrete quality. The dimensions of the shear wall specimens were selected with an aspect ratio bigger than two as 2500, 1050, and 150 mm for the height, length, and thickness, respectively. Four specimens are representative of nonconforming shear walls, and one wall is used as a reference specimen which was designed in accordance with recent building codes using deformed bars. The behavior of the shear walls is determined experimentally by displacement-lateral load relationship under lateral cyclic loading. The study used measurable parameters to investigate the behavior of the test specimens in terms of lateral force capacity, rigidity, ductility, dissipated energy, and displacement components contribution to the total lateral response of the walls. The results showed a substantial loss of stiffness, ductility and energy dissipation capabilities for the tested nonconforming shear walls. Moreover, it is proven in this study that these specimens are governed by the bar slip phenomena which demonstrated more than 80% contribution to the total lateral displacement capacity. In contrast, the reference shear wall exhibited a notable flexural behavior and plastic hinge formation. Additionally, the shear walls built with smooth reinforcement bars lost about 44% of their theoretical potential flexural capacity due to the observed bar slip failure.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17

Similar content being viewed by others


  • ACI 374.2R (2013) Guide for testing reinforced concrete structural elements under slowly applied simulated seismic loads. In: 374.2 R-13. American concrete institute

  • ACI318 (2019) Building code requirements for structural concrete (ACI 318–19) and commentary (ACI 318r-19). In: American concrete institute

  • Altheeb AH (2016) Seismic drift capacity of lightly reinforced concrete shear walls [PhD Dissertation]. The University of Melbourne

  • ASTM E8/E8M-15a (2015) Standard test methods for tension testing of metallic materials. ASTM International

  • Caglar N, Sezen H, Olabi MN (2019) Numerical evaluation of core concrete quality on the response of concrete jacketed columns. Rev Constr 18(2):301–310.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Caglar N, Kirtel O, Vural I, Saribiyik A, Sumer Y (2022) Structural damages observed in buildings during the January 24, 2020 Elazig-Sivrice earthquake in Turkey. GRAĐEVINAR J Croat Assoc Civ Eng

  • Celebi E, Aktas M, Caglar N, Özocak A, Kutanis M, Mert N, Özcan Z (2013) October 23, 2011 Turkey/Van–ercis earthquake: structural damages in the residential buildings. Nat Hazards 65(3):2287–2310.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Christidis KI, Karagiannaki D (2021) Evaluation of flexural and shear deformations in medium rise RC shear walls. J Build Eng 42:102470

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Christidis KI, Trezos KG (2017) Experimental investigation of existing non-conforming RC shear walls. Eng Struct 140:26–38.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Deng KL, Pan P, Shi YY, Miao QS, Li WF, Wang T (2012) Quasi-static test of reinforced concrete shear wall with low concrete strength and reinforcement ratio. Appl Mech Mater 188:106–111.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Di Sarno L, Pugliese F (2020) Numerical evaluation of the seismic performance of existing reinforced concrete buildings with corroded smooth rebars. Bull Earthq Eng 18(9):4227–4273.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greifenhagen C, Lestuzzi P (2005) Static cyclic tests on lightly reinforced concrete shear walls. Eng Struct 27:1703–1712.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hube MA, Marihuén A, de la Llera JC, Stojadinovic B (2014) Seismic behavior of slender reinforced concrete walls. Eng Struct 80:377–388.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lu Y, Henry RS, Gultom R, Ma QT (2017) Cyclic testing of reinforced concrete walls with distributed minimum vertical reinforcement. J Struct Eng 143(5):04016225.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Massone LM, Wallace JW (2004) Load-deformation responses of slender reinforced concrete walls. ACI Struct J 101(1):103–113

    Google Scholar 

  • Motter CJ, Abdullah SA, Wallace JW (2018) Reinforced concrete structural walls without special boundary elements. ACI Struct J 115(3):723–733.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Murty CVR, Goswami R, Vijayanarayanan AR, Mehta VV (2012) Some concepts in earthquake behaviour of buildings. Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority, Government of Gujarat

  • Oh Y-H, Han SW, Lee L-H (2002) Effect of boundary element details on the seismic deformation capacity of structural walls. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 31(8):1583–1602.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Opabola EA, Elwood KJ, Oliver S (2019) Deformation capacity of reinforced concrete columns with smooth reinforcement. Bull Earthq Eng 17(5):2509–2532.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Orakcal K, Massone LM, Wallace JW (2009) Shear strength of lightly reinforced wall piers and spandrels. ACI Struct J 106(4):455–466

    Google Scholar 

  • Palios X, Strepelias E, Stathas N, Fardis MN, Bousias S, Chrysostomou CZ, Kyriakides N (2020) Experimental study of a three-storey concrete frame structure with smooth bars under cyclic lateral loading. Bull Earthq Eng 18(13):5859–5884.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Razvi SR, Saatcioglu M (1994) Strength and deformability of confined high-strength concrete columns. Struct J 91(6):678–687.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sezen H, Moehle JP (2006) Seismic tests of concrete columns with light transverse reinforcement. ACI Struct J 103(6):842–849.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shegay AV, Motter CJ, Elwood KJ, Henry RS, Lehman DE, Lowes LN (2018) Impact of axial load on the seismic response of rectangular walls. J Struct Eng 144(8):04018124.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • TBEC (1998) Specification for structures to be built in disaster areas. Ministry of Public Works and Settlement

  • TBEC (2018) Turkey Earthquake building regulations. Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), Ministry of Public Works and Settlement

  • Zhang H, Dong J, Duan Y, Lu X, Peng J (2014) Seismic and power generation performance of u-shaped steel connected PV-shear wall under lateral cyclic loading. Int J Photoenergy 2014:1–15.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of the staff of the Structural-Mechanics Laboratory at Düzce University during the experimental study phase of this work which is greatly appreciated.


This study was financially supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) under the 1002 Short Term R&D Funding Program with Project no: 119M728. This work was conducted during the first author’s doctoral scholarship funded by the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) under Turkey Scholarships program.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



M.N.O.: Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Visualization, Formal analysis, Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing. N.C.: Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Funding acquisition, Writing—original draft, Writing—review & editing, Supervision. M.E.A.: Conceptualization, Methodology, Investigation, Resources, Writing—review & editing. H.O.: Methodology, Writing—review & editing. A.D.: Methodology, Writing—review & editing. G.D.: Methodology, Writing—review & editing. B.A.: Methodology, Writing—review & editing.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Naci Caglar.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Olabi, M.N., Caglar, N., Arslan, M.E. et al. Response of nonconforming RC shear walls with smooth bars under quasi-static cyclic loading. Bull Earthquake Eng 20, 6683–6704 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: