Composite Plate Shear Walls/Concrete Filled for High-Rise Buildings

Published February 26, 2019

Graduate Students: Emre Kizilarslan, and Hadi Kenarangi

Principal Investigator: Michel Bruneau

Project Completion Date: 06-15-2020

There is a growing interest in using coupled composite plate shear walls/ concrete-filled (CPSW/CF) for high-rise building construction, particularly to optimize the design for wind and/or seismic load combinations.  This test series investigated the inelastic cyclic response of C-Shaped and T-Shaped walls typically used in core-wall structures.


c-shape composite plate shear wall.

The test of C-Shape Composite Plate Shear Wall/Concrete Filled (CPSW/CF)

A Composite Plate Shear Wall-Concrete Filled (CPSW/CF) is a special lateral-force resisting system consisting of two steel plates with concrete infill in between them. The steel plates are connected to each other using tie bars that are embedded in the concrete infill and, in some instances, steel-headed stud anchors. This objective of this research project is to investigate the lateral load behavior of these walls, in terms of stiffness, strength, drift capacity, and the effect of axial load on the lateral load behavior, among many factors.  This is done to support the development of design guidelines for high-rise core-wall steel buildings having C‑CPSW/CF as the primary lateral force resisting system.


The testing program includes two C-shaped and two T-shaped (half of C-Shaped) concrete filled composite plate shear core walls subjected to flexure and axial loads together. They were designed based on cross‑section and flange aspect ratios, reinforcement ratio (less than 4.5%), SEESL laboratory constraints, target axial compression forces (15%, 20% and 30% of axial loading capacity of the concrete inside walls  (Agf'C)), and disposal cost. Their dimensions and cyclic loading protocol were the same in their corresponding group, but different axial loads were applied up to 30% of axial loading capacity. The specimens were ¼ scale of a prototype core wall model and their cross‑section was decided from consideration of 15,000 possible cross‑sections, on the basis of respecting the above constraints and achieving behavior similar to the chosen prototype model. The decided cross‑sections were C97.5x30x6 and T48.75x30x6 for C- and T-shaped walls, respectively. All specimen had 3/16in. steel plate thickness and 168in. height.


Available at the end of the project.


This research was conducted with support from the Charles Pankow Foundation (CPF) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), through CPF research grant #06-16 awarded to co-PIs Amit Varma, from Purdue University, and Michel Bruneau, University at Buffalo. The brief project description presented above focuses on the part of the work conducted at the University at Buffalo only.  The researchers also thank Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA), Cives Steel Co., J.F.Stearns Co., and Turner Construction, for donating steel and fabrication of specimens tested. The researchers are also grateful to members of the Peer-Review Panel Committee and Project Advisory Team for their technical guidance.