Project Title  Concrete-Filled Steel Plate Sandwich Walls
 Principal Investigator  Michel Bruneau
 Research Institution  University of Buffalo
 Project Period  2011 - 2014

Overview and Objectives: Concrete-Filled Steel Plate Sandwich Walls (CFSP Sandwich Walls) can provide a cost-effective alternative to regular reinforced concrete shear wall construction, with faster construction time and lesser floor plan footprint. As a result, combined with its recognized multi-hazard resistant properties, this composite system has the potential to transform seismic design in many applications.

The goal is to experimentally verify and validate provisions for designing this system and incorporate it into the Seismic Provisions. Expected outcome would be adoption by the engineer community and it is hoped that this will trigger a progressive transition over time from reinforced concrete shear walls to CFSP walls.

Work Description: An experimental and analytical research plan is proposed to investigate the CFSP Sandwich wall concept for seismic applications, by generating critical fundamental knowledge on its flexural cyclic inelastic and seismic behavior and performance. This project will consider walls with and without boundary elements, and issues related to foundation design for proper load-transfer behavior. Laboratory experiments will investigate the behavior of large-scale walls using quasi-static testing procedures. Nonlinear detailed finite element models will also be used to investigate local response mechanisms and expand the experimental results to include a wider range of parameters to define response. This research work will serve as the basis to develop and validate design recommendations.

Deliverables: Experimentally verified and validated design provisions will be submitted for consideration by AISC TC9 for possible implementation into the 2015 AISC Seismic Provisions.

Benefit: CFSP Sandwich walls are being considered by practicing engineers for construction in seismic regions of the US, including as ductile flexural walls in high-rise applications. Their appeal is that they are envisioned to be highly ductile, redundant, of high strength, and easy and rapid to construct. Beyond accelerated construction and ductile seismic performance, use of a CFSP Sandwich wall instead of a conventional reinforced concrete wall can translate into thinner walls with resulting greater leasable space.