Seismic Design of Low-Damage Post-Tensioned Timber Wall Systems
Thesis DisciplineCivil Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The recent Canterbury earthquake sequence in 2010-2011 highlighted a uniquely severe level of structural damage to modern buildings, while confirming the high vulnerability and life threatening of unreinforced masonry and inadequately detailed reinforced concrete buildings. Although the level of damage of most buildings met the expected life-safety and collapse prevention criteria, the structural damage to those building was beyond economic repair. The difficulty in the post-event assessment of a concrete or steel structure and the uneconomical repairing costs are the big drivers of the adoption of low damage design. Among several low-damage technologies, post-tensioned rocking systems were developed in the 1990s with applications to precast concrete members and later extended to structural steel members. More recently the technology was extended to timber buildings (Pres-Lam system). This doctoral dissertation focuses on the experimental investigation and analytical and numerical prediction of the lateral load response of dissipative post-tensioned rocking timber wall systems. The first experimental stages of this research consisted of component testing on both external replaceable devices and internal bars. The component testing was aimed to further investigate the response of these devices and to provide significant design parameters. Post-tensioned wall subassembly testing was then carried out. Firstly, quasi-static cyclic testing of two-thirds scale post-tensioned single wall specimens with several reinforcement layouts was carried out. Then, an alternative wall configuration to limit displacement incompatibilities in the diaphragm was developed and tested. The system consisted of a Column-Wall-Column configuration, where the boundary columns can provide the support to the diaphragm with minimal uplifting and also provide dissipation through the coupling to the post-tensioned wall panel with dissipation devices. Both single wall and column-wall-column specimens were subjected to drifts up to 2% showing excellent performance, limiting the damage to the dissipating devices. One of the objectives of the experimental program was to assess the influence of construction detailing, and the dissipater connection in particular proved to have a significant influence on the wall’s response. The experimental programs on dissipaters and wall subassemblies provided exhaustive data for the validation and refinement of current analytical and numerical models. The current moment-rotation iterative procedure was refined accounting for detailed response parameters identified in the initial experimental stage. The refined analytical model proved capable of fitting the experimental result with good accuracy. A further stage in this research was the validation and refinement of numerical modelling approaches, which consisted in rotational spring and multi-spring models. Both the modelling approaches were calibrated versus the experimental results on post-tensioned walls subassemblies. In particular, the multi-spring model was further refined and implemented in OpenSEES to account for the full range of behavioural aspects of the systems. The multi-spring model was used in the final part of the dissertation to validate and refine current lateral force design procedures. Firstly, seismic performance factors in accordance to a Force-Based Design procedure were developed in accordance to the FEMA P-695 procedure through extensive numerical analyses. This procedure aims to determine the seismic reduction factor and over-strength factor accounting for the collapse probability of the building. The outcomes of this numerical analysis were also extended to other significant design codes. Alternatively, Displacement-Based Design can be used for the determination of the lateral load demand on a post-tensioned multi-storey timber building. The current DBD procedure was used for the development of a further numerical analysis which aimed to validate the procedure and identify the necessary refinements. It was concluded that the analytical and numerical models developed throughout this dissertation provided comprehensive and accurate tools for the determination of the lateral load response of post-tensioned wall systems, also allowing the provision of design parameters in accordance to the current standards and lateral force design procedures.