Slenderness Ratio and Influencing Parameters on the NL Behaviour of RC Shear Wall

A. Atmani, Z. Boudaoud, N. Djebbar


Shear walls are very efficient structural elements to resist lateral seismic disturbance. Despite the aforementioned seismic performance, recent investigations report that they have suffered from significant structural damage after recent seismic activity, even for those complying with seismic provisions. These deficiencies in resistance and deformation capacities need to be explored. This study considers the influence of plastic length Lp, concrete compressive strength f_c28, longitudinal reinforcement ratio ρl, transverse reinforcement ratio ρsh, reduced axial load ν, confinement zone depth CS and focusing on the geometric slenderness λ. The parametric study has been conducted through NL pushover analysis using Peform3D software. The chosen coupled shear-flexure fiber macro model was calibrated with well-known cyclic experimental specimens. The paper points out the discrepancy between the two well-known codes EC8 and ASCE/SEI 41-13. In fact, the value of the slenderness ratio (λ) that trigger the beginning of a purely flexural behaviour recommended by EC8 (λ>2) is very different from the value of the ASCE/SEI 41-13 (λ>3) without accounting for the effect of the reduced axial force. Finally, it was found that RCW capacities are very sensitive to f_c28, ν, ρl, Lp and less sensitive to ρsh and CS. However, (λ) is the most decisive factor affecting the NL wall response. A new limit of slenderness and appropriate deformations of rotations are recommended to provide an immediate help to designers and an assistance to those involved with drafting codes.


Doi: 10.28991/cej-2021-03091777

Full Text: PDF


Macro-model; Plastic Length Lp; Slenderness Ratio λ; Confinement Zone CS.


Davidovici V. "Séisme de Boumerdes. Rapport de mission". Dynamique Concept (2003). Algerian Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and City. Available online: (accessed on May 2021).

Wallace, John W., Leonardo M. Massone, Patricio Bonelli, Jeff Dragovich, René Lagos, Carl Lüders, and Jack Moehle. “Damage and Implications for Seismic Design of RC Structural Wall Buildings.” In Earthquake Spectra, Vol. 28, (2012). doi:10.1193/1.4000047.

Abdullah, Saman Ali. “Reinforced Concrete Structural Walls: Test Database and Modeling Parameters,” PhD Dissertation University of California Los Angeles UCLA-RC Walls, (2019).

Powel, G. “CSI’s “Perform Components and Elements Building,” (2006).

European Standard. “Eurocode 8: Design of Structures for Earthquake Resistance — Part 1: General Rules, Seismic Actions and Rules for Buildings.” European Committee for Standardization, (2003).

ASCE 41-17 “Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings.” Seismic Evaluation and Retrofit of Existing Buildings. Reston, Virginia: American Society of Civil Engineers, (2017). doi:10.1061/9780784414859.

Wu, Yun Tian, Tian Qing Lan, Yan Xiao, and Yeong Bin Yang. “Macro-Modeling of Reinforced Concrete Structural Walls: State-of-the-Art.” Journal of Earthquake Engineering 21, no. 4 (2017): 652–78. doi:10.1080/13632469.2016.1174754.

Du, Ke, Huan Luo, Jiulin Bai, and Jingjiang Sun. “Integrating of Nonlinear Shear Models into Fiber Element for Modeling Seismic Behavior of Reinforced Concrete Coupling Beams, Wall Piers, and Overall Coupled Wall Systems.” International Journal of Concrete Structures and Materials 13, no. 1 (2019): 13–34. doi:10.1186/s40069-019-0346-z.

Kolozvari, Kristijan, Kamiar Kalbasi, Kutay Orakcal, Leonardo M. Massone, and John Wallace. “Shear–Flexure-Interaction Models for Planar and Flanged Reinforced Concrete Walls.” Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering 17, no. 12 (2019): 6391–6417. doi:10.1007/s10518-019-00658-5.

Kolozvari, Kristijan, Kamiar Kalbasi, Kutay Orakcal, and John Wallace. “Three-Dimensional Model for Nonlinear Analysis of Slender Flanged Reinforced Concrete Walls.” Engineering Structures 236 (2021): 236 112105. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2021.112105.

Mortazavi, Seyed Mohammad Reza, and Behrouz Zaeimdar. “Shear Wall Modeling with Asymmetric Openings by Macro Elements.” Structures 29 (2021): 899–910. doi:10.1016/j.istruc.2020.08.049.

Zhang, Zi Yu, Ran Ding, Jian Sheng Fan, Mu Xuan Tao, and Xin Nie. “Numerical Study of Reinforced Concrete Coupled Shear Walls Based on a Two-Dimensional Finite Element Model.” Engineering Structures 244 (2021): 112792. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2021.112792.

Kolozvari, Kristijan, Lauren Biscombe, Farhad Dashti, Rajesh P. Dhakal, Aysegul Gogus, M. Fethi Gullu, Richard S. Henry, et al. “State-of-the-Art in Nonlinear Finite Element Modeling of Isolated Planar Reinforced Concrete Walls.” Engineering Structures 194 (2019): 46–65. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2019.04.097.

Ugalde, David, Pablo F. Parra, and Diego Lopez-Garcia. “Assessment of the Seismic Capacity of Tall Wall Buildings Using Nonlinear Finite Element Modeling.” Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering 17, no. 12 (2019): 6565–89. doi:10.1007/s10518-019-00644-x.

Petrone, Floriana, Frank McKenna, Thanh Do, and David McCallen. “A Versatile Numerical Model for the Nonlinear Analysis of Squat-to-Tall Reinforced-Concrete Shear Walls.” Engineering Structures 242, no. 112406 (2021). doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2021.112406.

Hellesland, J., and A. Scordelis. Analysis of RC Bridge Columns under Imposed Deforma¬tions. Delft, Netherlands: IABSE Colloquium, Delft, Netherlands, (1981): 545-559.

Aktan, A. E., and V. Bertero. “Seismic Response of R/C Frame-Wall Structures”.” Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE 110, no. 8 (1984): 1803–1821.

Spacone, Enrico, Filip C. Filippou, and Fabio F. Taucer. “Fibre Beam-Column Model for Non-Linear Analysis of R/C Frames: Part I. Formulation.” Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics 25, no. 7 (1996): 711–25. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-9845(199607)25:7<711::AID-EQE576>3.0.CO;2-9.

Neuenhofer, Ansgar, and Filip C. Filippou. “Evaluation of Nonlinear Frame Finite-Element Models.” Journal of Structural Engineering 123, no. 7 (1997): 958–66. doi:10.1061/(asce)0733-9445(1997)123:7(958).

Pugh, Joshua S., Laura N. Lowes, and Dawn E. Lehman. “Nonlinear Line-Element Modeling of Flexural Reinforced Concrete Walls.” Engineering Structures 104 (2015): 174–92. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2015.08.037.

Kolozvari, Kristijan, Carlos Arteta, Matej Fischinger, Sofia Gavridou, Matias Hube, Tatjana Isaković, Laura Lowes, Kutay Orakcal, Jorge Vásquez, and John Wallace. “Comparative Study of State-of-the-Art Macroscopic Models for Planar Reinforced Concrete Walls.” ACI Structural Journal 115, no. 6 (November 2018). doi:10.14359/51710835..

Pozo, Juan D., Matias A. Hube, and Yahya C. Kurama. “Quantitative Assessment of Nonlinear Macro-Models for Global Behavior and Design of Planar RC Walls.” Engineering Structures 224, no. 224 (2020). doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2020.111190.

Powell, Graham Harcourt. Detailed Example of a Tall Shear Wall Building: Using CSI's PERFORM 3D Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis: Nonlinear Modeling, Analysis and Performance Assessment for Earthquake Loads. Computers & Structures Incorporated, (2007).

Lowes, Laura N., Dawn E. Lehman, and C. Baker. "Recommendations for modeling the nonlinear response of slender reinforced concrete walls using PERFORM-3D." In 2016 SEAOC convention. Maui, USA. (2016).

Jiang, Huanjun, and Laoer Liu. “Numerical Analysis of RC Shear Walls under Cyclic Loading by PERFORM-3D.” Advanced Materials Research 250–253, no. 250–253 (2011): 2253–57. doi:10.4028/

Wallace, J. W. "Lightly reinforced wall segments." In New Information on the Seismic Performance of Existing Concrete Buildings Seminar Notes. Oakland, CA: Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, (2006): 1-62. Available online: (accessed on April 2021).

Lowes, L. N., D. E. Lehman, and A. C. Birely. "DA Kuchma, CR Hart, KP Marley (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Behavior, Analysis, and Design of Complex Wall Systems: Planar Wall Test Program Summary Document." (2012).

Kappos, Andreas. Earthquake Resistant Concrete Structures. Earthquake Resistant Concrete Structures. Taylor and Francis, 2014. doi:10.1201/9781482271300.

RPA 99/Version 2003. “Algerian Seismic Regulations”, Ministry of Housing Planning and the city (Ministère de l'habitat, de l'urbanisme et de la ville), Edition CGS, Algeria (2003).

Paulay, T., and M. J.N. Priestley. “Stability of Ductile Structural Walls.” ACI Structural Journal 90, no. 4 (1993): 385–92. doi:10.14359/3958.

Park, R. “Evaluation of Ductility of Structures and Structural Assemblages from Laboratory Testing.” Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering 22, no. 3 (1989): 155–66. doi:10.5459/bnzsee.22.3.155-166.

Barrera, A.C., J.L. Bonet, M.L. Romero, and M.A. Fernández. “Ductility of Slender Reinforced Concrete Columns under Monotonic Flexure and Constant Axial Load.” Engineering Structures 40 (July 2012): 398–412. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2012.03.012.

Teroaka, M, and S Fuji. “Seismic Evaluation of R/C Beam-Column Joints”. In Second US-Japan Workshop on Performance-Based Earthquake Methodology for Reinforced Concrete Building Structures, Sapporo Hokkaido Japan. PEER, (2000): 379–390.

Epackachi, S, N Sharma, Whitaker A., and A Hortacsu. “A Cyclic Backbone Curve for Squat RC Shear Wall”.” In 11th U.S National Conference on Earthquake Engineering. June 25-29, 2018. Los Angeles, California, (2018).

Kazaz, İlker. “Analytical Study on Plastic Hinge Length of Structural Walls.” Journal of Structural Engineering 139, no. 11 (2013): 1938–50. doi:10.1061/(asce)st.1943-541x.0000770.

A., Atmani, Boudaoud Z., and Djebbar N. “Influence of the Plastic Length on the Seismic Response of RC Shear Wall Resisting Structures.” In 4th ECOCEE, 17-18 June 2019. Istanbul, Turkey, (2019).

Miranda, Eduardo, and Jorge Ruiz-Garca. “Evaluation of Approximate Methods to Estimate Maximum Inelastic Displacement Demands.” Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics 31, no. 3 (2002): 539–60. doi:10.1002/eqe.143.

Iwan, Wilfred D., and Nathan C. Gates. “Estimating Earthquake Response of Simple Hysteretic Structures.” Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division 105, no. 3 (June 1979): 391–405. doi:10.1061/jmcea3.0002481.

FEMA Prestandard, "commentary for the seismic rehabilitation of buildings (FEMA356)." Washington, DC: Federal Emergency Management Agency 7, no. 2 (2000).

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.28991/cej-2021-03091777


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Ali Atmani

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.