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Steel Plate Shear Walls

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Dear Mr. Merrick: I really enjoyed your refreshing and intuitive explanation of how steel shear walls behave as you have given below!  I have been doing research on steel shear walls since 1998 and have never had felt the behavior the way you describe it , but, you are right on the point based on what I have observed on their behavior.

As for the information, and as Mr. Madden has indicated below, the Structural Steel Educational Council (SSEC) ,, has published the following Steel TIPS (Steel Technical Information and Product Services) report that I wrote:
"Seismic Behavior and Design of Steel Shear Walls", by Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, January 2001.  A copy of this and other Steel TIP reports can be obtained from, free of charge for downloads from California and Nevada and for those outside Cal/Nev for a nominal charge ($20?).  If you review it and have any questions, please let me know and I will be happy to help.

Since 2001, we have completed two more new research/development projects on steel shear walls, the results of which are just being published. As soon as anything is published (next week a conference paper will be on the Internet) I will let you know.
Best wishes and hope this is somewhat helpful.
Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Ph.D., P.E., Professor of Structural Engineering, Earthquake Engineering and Blast and Impact Protection of Buildings and Bridges.
Web Home Page:

From: "Gerard Madden, SE" <gmse4603(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Steel Plate Shear Walls

There is a steel tips back in 2000 or so by Astaneh you can download.


On 10/23/07, David Merrick <MRKGP(--nospam--at)> wrote:

> Could someone enlighten me about the AISC design guide 20, "Steel Plate
> Shear Walls"?
> The article in "Structural Engineering" October 2007, p32 has an example
> steel plate shear wall design.
> I did not see any mention additional welding near the steel plate corner
> zones. I expected more welding for the increase stress when the plate
> yields by buckling. I did not see any mention that the plate is designed
> to not yield. There was no mentioning that the corner zone additional
> welding was used for the full length of the plate to increase but
> simplify the welder's task.
> As I recall  (Design of Welded Structures, Omer W. Blodgett) for plate
> ratios of less than 2:1, an equivalent tension strip is created as the
> steel plate wrinkles. Similar to the wrinkles when pulling on opposite
> corners of a bed sheet. This tension strip concentrates the plate shear
> to the corners and increases the shear per length. For a near square
> plate that increase is about 3 times the stress (shear/length) of a
> similar but thicker and not buckling plate.
> This tension strip is small and more like diagonal tension straps,
> usually leading to the conclusion that the system must assume a
> non-ductile shear wall with increased base shears or that diagonal
> braces are more effective.
> Could someone enlighten me about the AISC design guide 20, "Steel Plate
> Shear Walls"?
> Long time ago, in a nuclear power generator building, there were steel
> plate floor diaphragms, with evenly spaced lengths of edge welding. It
> was concluded that the existing plates needed full penetration welds at
> the plate corner zones. Shit hit the fan, but then the work was done.
> David Merrick

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