Behavior of reinforced concrete walls with circular openings

Zhang, Yinglong
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Reinforced concrete wall is one of the major components in a building system. It is subjected to different types of loads, such as gravity, wind, seismic load, etc. This thesis is part of a research project on water-filled reinforced concrete wall panels for energy efficiency and multi-hazards mitigation. The concept of this wall panel is that it contains various openings allowing water to circulate. Hot and cold water can be used in winter and summer, respectively, to achieve energy efficiency. More importantly, water in the openings can form a multi-column Tuned Liquid Wall Damper (TLWD) system, which provide a damping effect to mitigate multi-hazards. However, the openings inside the wall panel will reduce its strength. Therefore, there is a need to study the effect of the openings on the performance of the wall panels, which is the objective of thesis. In this thesis, a multi-objective method, which considers the strengths and damping effect of the wall panel, is used to optimize the TLWD system with respect to the number and sizes of the opening. Next, four-point bending tests on wall panels corresponding to the optimized configuration is conducted. A Finite Element (FE) model is then developed to study the panels under the bending load, and correlated with testing results. The FE model is further used to conduct a parametric study with different openings on the performance of wall panels under out-of-plane bending, axial loading and push-over conditions. The effect of different parameters are discussed. Finally, ACI design equations are used to calculate the strengths of the wall panels. Based on comparisons with the results from the FE parametric study, recommendations are provided on how to improve the design methods of the wall panels with openings.