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Lateral stiffness of unstiffened steel plate shear wall systems

Atasoy, Mehmet
Finite element method and strip method are two widely used techniques for analyzing steel plate shear wall (SPSW) systems. Past research mostly focused on the prediction of lateral load capacity of these systems using these numerical methods. Apart from the lateral load carrying capacity, the lateral stiffness of the wall system needs to be determined for a satisfactory design. Lateral displacements and the fundamental natural frequency of the SPSW system are directly influenced by the lateral stiffness. In this study the accuracy of the finite element method and strip method of analysis are assessed by making comparisons with experimental findings. Comparisons revealed that both methods provide in general solutions with acceptable accuracy. While both methods offer acceptable solutions sophisticated computer models need to be generated. In this study two alternative methods are developed. The first one is an approximate hand method based on the deep beam theory. The classical deep beam theory is modified in the light of parametric studies performed on restrained thin plates under pure shear and pure bending. The second one is a computer method based on truss analogy. Stiffness predictions using the two alternative methods are found to compare well with the experimental findings. In addition, lateral stiffness predictions of the alternate methods are compared against the solutions provided using finite element and strip method of analysis for a class of test structures. These comparisons revealed that the developed methods provide estimates with acceptable accuracy and are simpler than the traditional analysis techniques.