Research Project Aims to Advance Composite Shear Walls

AISC is working with the Charles Pankow Foundation and other academic and industry partners on a three-year research project to advance the state of the art for concrete-filled composite plate shear walls (CF-CPSW). The collaborative project aims to generate experimental data and numerical models and lead to design guidelines for individual and coupled CF-CPSW core wall structures as a way to optimize the design and speed the construction schedule of high-rise buildings.

"Right now, core systems sometimes use reinforced concrete shear walls that are jump formed," said Charlie Carter, AISC's vice president and chief structural engineer. "More permissive concrete industry tolerances can be a challenge for these cores, and the speed at which the jump forming can progress generally slows the project down. We believe the steel-concrete composite plate approach will eliminate these drawbacks and still provide a system with excellent stiffness and damping."

The purpose of the research is to address the challenges associated with conventional concrete core wall structures and provide the industry with a cost-effective solution in steel-concrete composite structures. CF-CPSW core wall structures leverage steel prefabrication in the shop and stay-in-place formwork in the field to reduce the time spent at the project site, thus improving the construction schedule.

The principal investigator for the $600,000 research project is Amit Varma of Purdue University. Additional partners include Ron Klemencic of Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Jim Malley of Degenkolb Engineers, Ron Hamburger of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger and Peter Timler of Supreme Group.