The study described in this thesis was a key component of a larger, collaborative project involving researchers from the University of Minnesota (Narina Jung, Ben Johnson), Iowa State University (Sri Sritharan, Jon Waugh, Sriram Aaleti), University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (Ricardo Lopez) and a practitioner from the State of California (Suzanne Dow Nakaki). This research effort was funded through the National Science Foundation (NSF) George E. Brown, Jr., Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), and was the first research project conducted within the University of Minnesota Multi-Axial Subassemblage Testing (MAST) facility.
The primary focus of the portion of the project described in this thesis was the finalization of the design and the instrumentation, construction, experimental testing, and data interpretation of the two T-shaped reinforced concrete structural walls subjected to multidirectional, cyclic loading. In addition, a simplified modeling approach was developed to predict the load-deformation response of structural walls in order to facilitate the adoption of performance-based engineering for structural systems incorporating walls. This approach is intended for use by structural engineers.
In addition to determining the load-displacement response of walls, the simplified modeling procedure also associates predicted strain levels with expected degrees of damage. This is one of the key areas associated with performance-based engineering that is currently lacking for many types of structural systems. The predicted load-displacement response is separated into the components of deformation due to flexure, shear, and strain penetration to give further indication of the types of damage that are expected, such as flexural cracks or web shear cracks.
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