Experimental & Numerical Investigation of an Innovative, High Capacity Cold-Formed Steel Shear Wall

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Cold-Formed Steel Research Consortium (CFSRC) Colloquium
The study presented herein is concerned with establishing benchmark finite element models of high capacity cold-formed steel (CFS) shear walls. CFS shear walls have emerged as an economic and light-weight seismic force resisting system (SFRS), unfortunately their applications are limited to low- and mid-rise residential and commercial buildings. To advance the state-of-the art, a preliminary, full-scale testing program of an innovative, higher-capacity CFS shear wall is conducted. The shear wall configuration consists of a thin steel sheathing concentrically confined between built-up hat section wall studs and built-up, L-shaped tracks. Furthermore, the testing program includes monotonic and cyclic tests of the walls, as well as screw connection assembly tests in double shear. In addition, finite element models of the shear walls were developed via the software ABAQUS and calibrated with the experimental results. To overcome convergence issues, the explicit solver was employed, and a linear kinematic hardening user-defined material model (VUMAT) was used. Finally, to assess the behavior and structural efficiency of the wall, numerous parametric studies were carried out. Several construction details were assessed, including height-to-width aspect ratio, spacing of screws, thickness of the framing members and end conditions of the wall assembly. The results indicate that the shear wall configuration discussed in this paper can reach capacities that are two times more than conventional CFS shear walls that are stipulated in current AISI S400 standard.