Technical Justification for Proposed Design Provisions for AAC Structures: Assemblage Test and Development of R and CD Factors


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Title: Technical Justification for Proposed Design Provisions for AAC Structures: Assemblage Test and Development of R and CD Factors

Author(s): R. E. Klingner, J. E. Tanner, and J. L. Varela

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 226


Appears on pages(s): 67-90

Keywords: autoclaved aerated concrete; cellular concrete; design; earthquake

Date: 3/1/2005

This paper summarizes the final phases of the technical justification for proposed design provisions for AAC structures in the US. It is divided into two parts. The first part describes the design and testing of a two-story, full-scale AAC shear wall specimen that was designed and tested at The University of Texas at Austin, under reversed quasi-static loads representative of those experienced in a strong earthquake. The specimen withstood repeated reversed cycles to story drifts of about 0.3%, and displacement ductility ratios of about 3. The specimen conformed with the two main objectives. Those objectives were: 1) to show that the behavioral models developed for the shear walls also govern in a building; and 2) to demonstrate that a squat wall can exhibit failure governed by flexure. The second part describes the development of R and Cd factors for seismic design of AAC structures. The seismic force-reduction factor (R) specified in seismic design codes is intended to account for energy dissipation through inelastic deformation (ductility) and structural over-strength. The factor (R) is based on observation of the performance of different structural systems in previous strong earthquakes, on technical justification, and on tradition. For structures of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), the force-reduction factor (R) and the corresponding displacement-amplification factor (Cd) must be based on laboratory test results and numerical simulation of the response of AAC structures subjected to earthquake ground motions. The proposed factors must then be verified against the observed response of AAC structures in strong earthquakes. The objectives of this paper are: (1) to present a general procedure for selecting values of the factors (R) and (Cd) for use in the seismic design of structures; and (2) using that procedure, to propose preliminary values of the factors (R) and (Cd) for the seismic design of AAC shear-wall structures. The general procedure is based on comparing the predicted ductility and drift demands in AAC structures, as functions of the factors (R) and (Cd), with the ductility and drift capacities of AAC shear walls, as observed in quasi-static testing under reversed cyclic loads. Nonlinear numerical simulations are carried out using hysteretic load-displacement behavior based on test results, and using suites of natural and synthetic ground motions from different seismically active regions of the United States.