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Experimental investigation of the seismic behaviour of panel buildings

Yüksel, S. Bahadır
Shear-wall dominant multi-story reinforced concrete structures, constructed by using a special tunnel form technique are commonly built in countries facing a substantial seismic risk, such as Chile, Japan, Italy and Turkey. In 1999, two severe urban earthquakes struck Kocaeli and Düzce provinces in Turkey with magnitudes (Mw) 7.4 and 7.1, respectively. These catastrophes caused substantial structural damage, casualties and loss of lives. In the aftermath of these destructive earthquakes, neither demolished nor damaged shear-wall dominant buildings constructed by tunnel form techniques were reported. In spite of their high resistance to earthquake excitations, current seismic code provisions including the Uniform Building Code and the Turkish Seismic Code present limited information for their design criteria. This study presents experimental investigation of the panel unit having H-geometry. To investigate the seismic behavior of panel buildings, two prototype test specimens which have H wall design were tested at the Structural Mechanics Laboratory at METU. The experimental work involves the testing of two four-story, 1/5-scale reinforced concrete panel form building test specimens under lateral reversed loading, simulating the seismic forces and free vibration tests. Free vibration tests before and after cracking were done to assess the differences between the dynamic properties of uncracked and cracked test specimens. A moment-curvature program named Waller2002 for shear walls is developed to include the effects of steel strain hardening, confinement of concrete and tension strength of concrete. The moment-curvature relationships of panel form test specimens showed that walls with very low longitudinal steel ratios exhibit a brittle flexural failure with very little energy absorption. Shear walls of panel form test specimens have a reinforcement ratio of 0.0015 in