Seismic performance of semi-rigid steel frame infilled with prefabricated damping wall panels

Significance 

Steel frame structures are highly susceptible to seismic loads attributed to the adverse infill-frame interaction. Although the traditional infill walls are well-acknowledged as nonstructural elements in buildings by most design standards and codes, their adverse effects are often underestimated or neglected in engineering practice. For instance, a combination of the high strength, stiffness, and brittleness of the infill can significantly affect the structural behaviors. Moreover, the adverse infill-frame interaction often makes it difficult to predict the actual structural behavior accurately.

Currently, there are three different methods used to address the problem of the infill-frame interaction. The first method uses different approaches, such as steel wire meshes, some types of fiber-reinforced polymers, and perforated steel plates to mitigate the vulnerability of the infill. While these interventions improve the seismic performance of the infill, they fail to effectively reduce the possible adverse effects of the infill-frame interaction. The second method attempts to eliminate or weaken the infill-induced detrimental effects by separating the infill and the surrounding frame using flexible joints around the wall-frame interface or cutting the corner of the wall panels. This could damage the infill and the frame. The third method divides the infill into different subpanels connected with sliding joints made of low shear materials to prevent damage to the infill and decrease its stiffness. The disadvantage of this method is the possibility of unfavorable cracks and crushing of the infill at the corner.

To overcome the limitations of the aforementioned methods, flexible materials can be used to separate the infill from the surrounding frame to avoid potential infill damage. The prefabricated horizontal panels require a low shear strength sliding mechanism to provide desirable results. This can be achieved using semi-rigid steel frames owing to their superior ductility and stiffness. To this note, Guangzhou University researchers: Professor Chao Zhang, Mr. Zhengzhong Li, Ph.D. candidate Weiyuan Huang, Professor Xuesong Deng, and Mr. Jianzhou Gao proposed two innovative semi-rigid steel frame systems infilled with prefabricated damping wall panels in wall-to-beam (DWSF-B) and wall-to-column (DWSF-C) connection types. The working principle and main features of the infill systems with both sliding joints and uncoupling mechanism were detailed. Additionally, the performance of the two systems in terms of seismic response was investigated via quasi-static tests and results compared with those of a bare steel frame (BSF). Their work is currently published in the Journal of Construction Steel Research.

The test results confirmed the suitability of the proposed wall panels in preventing the detrimental infill-frame interaction. Both DWSF-C and SWSF-B that were infilled with the prefabricated sampling wall panels were characterized with a remarkably larger deformation capacity of about 3.33% drift without significant infill damage. The infilled steel frames exhibited stable seismic behaviors akin to that of BSF with no infills, which included loading capacity, stiffness degradation, displacement ductility, and hysteresis curves. After yielding, their energy dissipation capacity was about 23.3% more than that of the BSF. Although the friction displacement of specimen DWSF-C was less than that of DWSF-B, the latter exhibited a more effective and controllable energy dissipation for which the low-strength motor could be replaced with an inexpensive alternative.

In summary, the research team successfully investigated the seismic performance of two innovative semi-rigid steel frames infilled with prefabricated damping wall panels. The remarkable seismic performance of the infilled steel frames that were comparable to those of BSF as well as high energy dissipation capacity suggested that prefabricated damping panels could be used as an additional safety feature for the steel frame and not major components of strength and stiffness. In a statement to Advances in Engineering, Dr. Chao Zhang explained their presented approach is more effective for mitigating the detrimental impact of infill-frame interaction and would contribute to the design of high-performance steel frame structures.

Seismic performance of semi-rigid steel frame infilled with prefabricated damping wall panels - Advances in Engineering Seismic performance of semi-rigid steel frame infilled with prefabricated damping wall panels - Advances in Engineering Seismic performance of semi-rigid steel frame infilled with prefabricated damping wall panels - Advances in Engineering Seismic performance of semi-rigid steel frame infilled with prefabricated damping wall panels - Advances in Engineering

About the author

Chao Zhang is currently an associate professor of School of Civil Engineering at the Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, P. R. China. He received the B.S. (2006) and M.S. (2009) in Civil Engineering from Guangzhou University, and the Ph.D. (2013) in Civil Engineering from Tongji University. He joined the School of Civil Engineering at Guangzhou University in 2013. He is now the vice director of Public Safety and Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Research Center at Guangzhou University and vice dean of Department of Structural Engineering at Guangzhou University. His main research interests involve seismic retrofitting technology of structural and nonstructural components, high-performance energy dissipation devices and isolation bearings development, seismic design method of damping structures, and novel prefabricated structural systems. He has published more than 70 scientific papers, including over 30 SCI/EI journal papers published in Journal of Building Engineering, Engineering Structures, and Journal of Constructional Steel Research, etc. Meanwhile, he serves for many important peer-reviewed journals as peer reviewer and is a member of many scientific and expert organizations.

He has hosted the research project from National Natural Science Foundation of China and Post-doctoral Program of Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province. He also participated in over 10 research projects as a key research member, including the National Key Research and Development Program of China, Key Program of National Social Science Foundation of China, and National Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province. Some research achievements have been applied on 100+ building structures, and written into national, industrial, and local standards. Among a number of honors, he was awarded the second prize of Excellent Engineering Survey Award of China Engineering and Consulting Associate in 2015, Excellent Young Doctor Training Project of Guangzhou University in 2017, and Guangzhou High-level Talents (Young Reserve Talents) in 2019.

Profile: Associate Professor, School of Civil Engineering, Guangzhou University, P. R. China.
Email: [email protected]

About the author

Weiyuan Huang is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Department of Disaster Mitigation for Structures, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University under the supervision of Professor Huanjun Jiang. He received his M.S. degree in Civil Engineering at Guangzhou University in 2020. His current research focuses on Nonlinear Dynamics, Vibration Control, Structural Health Monitoring, and Earthquake Engineering. He has authored and co-authored seven related peer-reviewed papers, including over four SCI/EI journal papers published in Journal of Building Engineering, Engineering Structures, Journal of Constructional Steel Research, and Journal of Building Structures (EI, in Chinese). Meanwhile, he has hosted and completed the research project from Postgraduate Innovation Research Project of Guangzhou University, and participated in five research projects, including the National Key Research and Development Program of China, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and National Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province.

Profile: Ph.D. candidate, Department of Disaster Mitigation for Structures, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, P. R. China.
Email: [email protected]

Reference

Zhang, C., Li, Z., Huang, W., Deng, X., & Gao, J. (2021). Seismic performance of semi-rigid steel frame infilled with prefabricated damping wall panelsJournal of Constructional Steel Research, 184, 106797.

Go To Journal of Constructional Steel Research

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