Bolted Splice Details for Composite Plate Shear Walls—Concrete Filled (Part I: Component Level Test)

One of six tension component testing specimens.

Published August 28, 2023

This project aims to develop and validate bolted splice details for C-PSW/CF, a structural system designed for non-seismic regions like New York City and Boston. The focus is on areas where bolted splices are preferred over welded ones due to wind demands outweighing elastic seismic forces in splice design.

Graduate Student: Jia-Hau Liu

Principal Investigator: Michel Bruneau

Project Completion Date: November 2023



Composite Plate Shear Walls—Concrete Filled (C-PSW/CF) consists of two steel faceplates with concrete infill sandwiched in-between. The steel faceplates are connected to each other using tie bars that are embedded in the concrete infill and, in some instances, steel headed stud anchors. The objective of this project is to develop and experimentally validate such bolted splice details for C-PSW/CF, to enable nationwide application of this structural system.  Focus here is for application in non-seismic regions, such as New York City and Boston, where bolted splices are preferred over welded ones, and other places where wind demands exceed elastic seismic demands and govern splice design.

The testing program consisted of both component and wall-level tests. The component-level tests included six tension tests and six shear tests. These tests were designed to simulate a portion of a wall segment subjected to lateral shear forces and overturning moments. The tested specimens measured 14 in. in width and 12 in. in thickness. Various splice design details were tested, including different types of bolts and the inclusion of I-shaped anchor embedment in the concrete. All component-level tests were completed by May 2023.

The wall-level test involves a T-shaped concrete-filled composite plate shear core subjected to combined flexural and axial loads. This T-shaped wall has a steel plate thickness of 3/16 in. and a height of 168 in. It incorporates a horizontal splice plate located near the foundation and six vertical splice plates near the T-joist. The design of the horizontal splice plate primarily considers the bearing strength of the faceplates, with the objective of achieving 65% of their yielding strength. The design of the vertical splice plates is determined by the slip-critical resistance of bolts, aiming to resist vertical shear forces, also known as shear flows. The wall-level tests are planned to be conducted in Fall 2023.


Available at the end of the project.


This research was conducted with support from the Charles Pankow Foundation (CPF), the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), the MKA Foundation, and Atlas Tube/Zekelman through CPF research grant #02-21 “Bolted Splice Details for Composite Plate Shear Walls – Concrete Filled” awarded to Michel Bruneau from the 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), Banker Steel, Cives Steel Co., 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.