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2008/3 PAGES 34 41 RECEIVED 15. 4. 2008 ACCEPTED 10. 7.

2008

J. WITZANY, T. EJKA, R. ZIGLER

prof. Ing. Ji Witzany, DrSc.Dr.h.c., Ing. Tom


ejka Ph.D., Ing. Radek Zigler, Ph.D.
Department of Building Structures, Faculty of Civil
Engineering, CTU in Prague, Thkurova 6, 166 29
Prague 6, witzany@fsv.cvut.cz , cejka@fsv.cvut.cz ,
zigler@fsv.cvut.cz

STRUCTURAL SAFETY
AND RESISTANCE OF
PREFABRICATED WALL SYSTEMS
OF MULTI-STOREY BUILDINGS
WITH REGARD TO THE EFFECTS
OF A DYNAMIC LOAD CAUSED BY
TECHNICAL SEISMICITY
ABSTRACT

Research fields: structural problems, analyses and


designing of building structures, reconstruction and
rehabilitation of buildings

KEY WORDS

The paper sums up the results of the experimental and theoretical analysis of the
response of a model of a 7-storey prefabricated wall structure of a multi-storey building
to the effects of technical seismicity. The research was part of the research plan
MSM6840770001 Reliability, optimization and durability of building materials and
structures.

Technical seismicity,
prefabricated wall systems,
experimental research,
reliability.

DYNAMIC EFFECTS AND IMPACTS


Since 1997, increased seismic activity has been recorded mainly in
West Bohemia.
At the end of 2000, a strong shock reached a local magnitude of
3.4 and was felt by the inhabitants of the Cheb, Sokolov, Karlovy
Vary and Tachov regions. A strong earthquake swarm has been
registered since August 2001, the eight phases of which included
over 1500 earthquakes, over 5% of which were also felt by local
people (Fig. 1) [1].
According to the map of seismic threats to the Czech Republic
(annex to the national application document Eurocode 8 [3]),
manifestations of natural earthquakes with a macroseismic intensity
ranging between 6 and 6.5 degrees on the Richter scale may be

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Fig. 1 Macroseismic field of the most intensive earthquake of the


seismic swarm in 1985/86 [1]

2008 SLOVAK UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

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expected, while the expected values of a quasi-effective acceleration


range from 0.06 to 0.4 g, i.e. 0.59 to 3.9 ms-2.
These facts confirm the need for further investigation of issues
related to the response of pre-cast panel structures to the effects
of natural seismicity, potential consequences and effects on the
residual structural safety of pre-cast panel buildings. An inseparable
part of this activity must be continuous monitoring and investigation
of selected representatives of pre-cast panel buildings with regard to
the above-mentioned aspects, including evaluation and elaboration
of designs and preventative measures aimed at securing the
structural safety of pre-cast panel buildings located in seismically
active areas in West Bohemia.
Pre-cast panel buildings located in the vicinity of roads, motorway
and railway corridors, near the routes of the underground and
also close to intensive construction activity or industrial activity
are exposed to so-called technical seismicity. In accordance
with SN 73 0040, shocks caused by technical seismicity are
evaluated as random long-term or short-term loads. The intensity
and character of technical seismicity depend on the weight of the
observed buildings, the design of their foundation structures and the
geological conditions in the respective area. The intensity of shocks
caused, e.g., by traffic further depends on the weight, speed and
acceleration of moving vehicles and the surface and construction of
the roadway or superstructure. The dominant frequencies of subsoil
shocks due to road traffic usually range in an interval of 10 Hz to
80 Hz. The frequency spectrum of the seismic response and the
value of the seismic load may be most accurately determined by
experimental in-situ measurements.

suffices to consider non-linearly elastic behaviour only in joints,


considering the behaviour of units as linearly elastic as compression
and shear stresses acting on units tend to be substantially lower than
their ultimate strength at the proportional elastic limit (ultimate
load-bearing capacity in the elastic domain). We may, therefore,
presume that the limit state of the structure as a whole is preceded
by joint failure, or that the structure passes from a linearly elastic
behaviour to a non-linearly elastic to plastic behaviour, usually by
exceeding the proportional elastic limit in the joints.
The rigidity of joints exposed to repetitive loading varies and
decreases in relation to the number of cycles. The specific feature
of cyclic effects is the fact that the failure of joints or the structure
occurs as a result of even such loads which do not reach the
ultimate strength, as a result of practically any magnitude of load
in individual loading cycles if the proportional elasticity limit of
the linearly elastic behaviour of the joint (structure) defined by the
load x deformation relationship was exceeded at least in one of
these cycles. The failure of the joint (structure) occurs by reaching
the limit deformation, taking the form of a so-called incremental
collapse (Fig. 2). The growing deformation of the joint in each
successive loading cycle, i.e. on-going joint plastification as
a consequence of the repetitive loading effect by the shear force Top
results in a gradual decrease in the rigidity (effectiveness) of the

CHARACTERISTICS OF MULTI-STOREY
PREFABRICATED WALL SYSTEMS
Prefabricated wall structures of multi-storey buildings brought about
a brand - new quality to building design, which required deeper
theoretical knowledge, the replacement of empiric a knowledge by
theory, and the substitution of idealized and considerably simplified
models of the behaviour of structures and their parts by correct
computational, physical (material) and loading models.
The high rigidity of a prefabricated concrete wall structure and the
resulting serious mechanical stress states caused particularly by
the effects of volume changes (temperature, moisture content), the
effects of the footing bottom changes in shape, etc., are the most
frequent cause of failures, particularly failures of joints of units
characterized by their insufficient yield and load-bearing capacity.
Prefabricated wall systems are characterized by a deformation and
failure mechanism, where wall units shift in joints disintegrated by
cracks, i.e., so-called contact interfaces. In practical cases, it mostly

Fig. 2 a) Working diagram of a vertical joint for loading by


a monotonously growing shifting force and for low-cyclic loading by
shifting force Top < Tm [4], b) a non-reinforced joint, Top = 123 kN,
failure during 84th cycle (x,m = -0,087 MPa)

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number of cycles of repetitive loading grows with the growing joint


ductility, i.e., the range of the interval (y,el - y,m) [4].
In order make a rough estimate of the number of cycles nop preceding
the failure of joints, the following relations may be used [7]:
for Top=Tu,el, To=0

A=(KT-x)
Fig. 3 Relationship of the number of cycles of repetitive loading nop
on the magnitude of shear force Top
joint down to a value lim Kop,i, which is lower than the joint rigidity
at reaching the limit load under the monotonously rising load Ku,m;
and it holds true that Kop,1>Kop,2>>Kop,i<Ku,m.
The number of cycles nop of repetitive loading by the shear force
Top depends on the magnitude of the force Top (Fig. 3). It shows
a falling trend with the growing magnitude of the shear force Top.
Experimental tests have manifested that a theoretical estimate of the
number of cycles nop until failure may be based on the assumption
that the magnitude of the limit joint deformation m described by
components y,m a x,m is independent of the loading history. The

The assessment of the residual structural safety of mainly older types


of precast-panel houses erected until 1974, which show some serious
design defects (horizontal bracing at the floor slab level reinforcement
imbedded into joints of floor units), requires determination of the
residual rigidities of the joints disintegrated by cracks [5].

EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH OF THE RESPONSE


OF A MODEL OF A PREFABRICATED WALL
STRUCTURE TO THE EFFECTS OF TECHNICAL
SEISMICITY
In 2007, the research plan MSM6840770001 Reliability,
optimization and durability of building materials and structures

Fig. 4 a) Experimental system, diagram of a plan and elevation arrangement of a model of a prefabricated wall structure on a 1:3 scale; b)
Joint of wall and floor unit, linking bar, wall units faces coated with separation paint

Legend: The model of a prefabricated structure (Fig. 4) was composed of three transverse walls with an axial distance of 1.4 m (corresponding to a span of 4.2 m) and a longitudinal
wall weakened by a door opening located in one transverse module. The arrangement of the prefabricated units, reinforcement of wall and floor units, reinforcement of the floor
slab, and shaping of the contact interfaces corresponds to the pre-cast panel system T06B. The structural height of a storey was 0.933 m (corresponding to a structural height of
2.8 m). The wall and floor units with a thickness 50mm (corresponding to the unit thickness of 150mm) were made of C16/20 concrete. The grout was made of concrete C16/20, and
the grout reinforcement of the steel was of a E 10216 quality. The composition of the units and the arrangement of the bearing system are evident from Fig. 4. Prior to assembly, the
contact interfaces of the floor and wall units were finished with 2 coats of separation paint (simulation of the shrinkage crack at the contact of the units).

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included the implementation of the second phase of research of the


residual structural safety of a model of a prefabricated wall structure
on a 1:3 scale exposed to the effects of repetitive loading and the
effects of technical seismicity.
The repetitive loading of the experimental model was carried out by
a pair of steel tie rods exerting an inclined force with the horizontal
and vertical components acting at the upper free end of the model.
The vertical component stabilized the experimental model of the
structure against tilting (exerting compressive stresses in the bed
joints and substituting the effect of a vertical load1), Fig. 5). The
repetitive loading was exerted by a pair of enerpac RCH 603
hydraulic cylinders mounted on inclined steel tie rods. The dynamic
load was exerted by the TIRA vib electrodynamic exciter, type
TV5550/LS, 750 kg in weight fitted with a mobile weight of 13.2 kg.
The exciters frequency range was 0-3 kHz; the maximum deflection
of the mobile weight was 50.8 mm. The exciter was mounted by
means of mandrels onto the floor structure of the topmost storey of
the model and adjusted to a horizontal oscillation.
The plan for the experimental research on the 7-storey prefabricated
wall structures model is shown in Table 1.

Tab. 1 Overview of states of loading

RESPONSE OF A PREFABRICATED STRUCTURE


TO A REPETITIVE DYNAMIC LOAD

Fig. 5 Diagram of loading a model of an experimental structure


with inclined forces exerted by steel tie rods; picture of the mounted
electrodynamic exciter

In the individual cycles and states of loading, relative shifts in the


selected vertical joints of wall units, horizontal deformations at three
levels, vertical deformations at the gable wall footing and normal
stresses in wall units were measured on the experimental model
(Fig. 6). In the course of the dynamic loading, the horizontal response
of the structure was measured by three Wilcoxon accelerometers,
model CMMS 793 L, with an output sensitivity of 51 mV/ms-2.
One of the accelerometers was mounted onto mobile exciter parts
scanning the weight motion, while the second accelerometer was
mounted onto the 4th storey of the model and the third onto the 7th
storey of the model. The test served for the determination of the first
and the second natural frequencies (Fig. 7).
In the 1st state of loading there was a growth in total deformation
of 12.3% and permanent deformation of 50% as compared to the

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loading by 2x 30 kN reached a value of 3.12 mm, and the permanent


horizontal deformation reached a value of 2.64 mm, i.e. by 173.7%
and by 1785.1% higher as compared to the first loading cycle of the
1st state of loading, and by 15.5%, or by 247.3% higher as compared
to the first loading cycle of the 4th state of loading.

Fig. 6 Arrangement of the measuring devices

total and permanent deformation in the first loading cycle of the 1st
state of loading.
In the 2nd state of loading in the 10th loading cycle under loading by
2x 30 kN, there was an increase in the total horizontal deformation by
121.1% as compared to the total deformation in the first loading cycle
of the 1st state of loading and in permanent deformation by 200%.
After five loading cycles of the 3rd state of loading there was
a growth in the total horizontal deformation and the permanent
horizontal deformation by 82.5% or by 387.5% respectively as
compared to the first loading cycle of the 1st state of loading.
In the 4th state of loading the total horizontal deformation under

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Fig. 7 Shape of the first and second natural frequency (a, b),
oscillation record for experimental determination of natural frequencies
(c), record of structures oscillation due to dynamic load (d)

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effects on a gradual decrease in the rigidity of the load-bearing


system resulting from joint degradation (appearance of structural
cracks and their propagation in the joints of load-bearing units).
The relatively high frequency of the dynamic load exerted by the
electrodynamic exciter with a very low oscillation amplitude to
which the experimental model was exposed in the 2nd state of
loading did not cause any prominent, visually observable, failure
of the joints of the load-bearing prefabricated units.
In the course of the 3rd loading cycle, no progressive growth
in deformations and no prominent decrease in the rigidity and
resistance of the load-bearing wall system was recorded.
The growth in the total and permanent deformations caused by
the impact of the repetitive low-cyclic load during the 1st 3rd
state of loading, i.e., after 24 cycles, amounted to 82.5% and
387.5% as compared to the first loading cycle of the 1st state of
loading. The growth of the total and permanent deformations
caused by the impact of the dynamic load in the 2nd state of
loading, i.e. after 80x104 cycles with a high frequency and a very
low amplitude, which amounted to 90.9% and 166%, proves that
Fig. 8 Growth in the horizontal deformation (deflection fh) in the
individual states of loading at the 7th storey level (fh x NT), time pattern
of the relationship of the total (horizontal) deformations in individual
cycles (fh, total x NT, fh, perm. x NT) on the upper free end
The failure of the joints of the load-bearing units after the 1st and
2nd state of loading (a), or after the 3rd and 4th state or loading (b) is
schematically displayed in Fig. 8.

DISCUSSION OF EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH


RESULTS
The results of the experimental research carried out on an experimental
model exposed to the effects of a repetitive monotonously growing
load ranging between 0-2x30 kN and 0-2x80 kN and a dynamic load
with a frequency of 15 Hz (8 x 105 cycles in all), the aim of which
was an investigation of the response and impact of these effects on
the residual rigidity and structural safety of a prefabricated system
may be summed up into the following conclusions:
The analysis and comparison of the experimentally determined
increments of the total and permanent deformations on the
top of the experimental model in individual loading cycles of
the 1st, 2nd and 3rd states of loading for the case of a selected
frequency value of 15 Hz (experimentally measured 1st and 2nd
natural frequencies at the 7th storey level are f1 = 5.62 Hz and
f2 = 13.92 Hz, while at the 4th storey level f1 = 5.37 Hz and
f2 = 13.92 Hz) suggests the relatively low impact of the dynamic

Fig. 9 Diagram of in decrease rigidity in the vertical joints of loadbearing wall units of an experimental system in individual states of
loading

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Fig. 11 Time pattern of the principal stresses in the longitudinal wall


loaded by an inclined force 2x30 kN acting on the upper free end
(disintegrated joints with lowered rigidity 10-3)
Fig. 10 Diagram of the gradual failure of the joints and units of an
experimental model in the course of 1st and 2nd (a) and in the course
of 3rd and 4th (b) state of loading
the investigated effect of the dynamic load did not cause stresses
in the vertical joints of the wall units exceeding the limit of their
linearly elastic action.
Unlike a dynamic load with a high frequency, a low-cyclic
repetitive shear load, where at least in some cycles load exceeding
the proportional elastic limit of the T x relationship is reached
in vertical joints of wall units (Fig. 2), causes a progressive
decrease in the joint rigidity having consequently substantially
more serious effect on a gradual decrease of the structural safety
of the load-bearing system as compared to the dynamic effects
caused by technical seismicity (e.g., effects of traffic, Fig. 8).
Based on the analysis of the experimental results of the response
of a prefabricated experimental system to a dynamic load, a
relatively high level of the reliability and resistance of similar
load-bearing prefabricated wall systems of multi-storey buildings
to the effects of standard technical seismicity with the frequency
spectrum of seismic response and the magnitude of the seismic
load within the verified scope may be reported.
These conclusions cannot be applied in their full scope to all
prefabricated wall systems, in particular to the cases of loadbearing prefabricated wall structures (precast-panel buildings) with
an insufficient horizontal reinforcement of the floor slab, or with
explicitly degraded joints of load-bearing units.
The experimental loading of the experimental model within
the 4th state of loading manifested an exceptionally serious

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Fig. 12 Isolines of principal stresses in the longitudinal wall loaded


by inclined force 2x30 kN on the upper free end (disintegrated joints
with lowered rigidity 10-3)

(stabilization) effect of the longitudinal walls even in the phase


where they were separated on the top storeys of the experimental
model from adjoining transverse walls and the floor structure
by a continuous crack in the joints (Fig. 10). At this phase, the
separated longitudinal walls acted to stiffen loosely - inserted
diaphragms with a characteristic effect of a compressive diagonal
prominently stabilizing the structure in the longitudinal direction
against the effects of the horizontal load (Fig. 11 and Fig. 12).
The paper was written with support from the Research plan MSM
6840770001 Reliability, optimization and durability of building
materials and structures.

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REFERENCES

[1] Geophysical Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Czech


Republic, Seismic Department.
[2] Kalb Z.: Assessment of Seismic Load of the Mediaeval Mine
Jeronm in the Czech Republic, Acta Montanistica Slovaca No.
1, Vol. 8, 2003.
[3] Eurocode 8: Design of Structures Resistant to Earthquakes,
NI 2005.
[4] Witzany, J., Behaviour of Joints of Concrete Units Loaded by
Shear under Repetitive Loading. In: Pozemn stavby journal 81987, pp. 343 348.

[5] Witzany, J., Regeneration of the Load-Bearing Structure of


Precast-Panel Buildings. In: Pozemn stavby journal 9-1989, pp.
373 378.
[6] Witzany, J., Zigler, R., Paek, J.: Experimental Research of
3D Behaviour of a 1:3 Model of a Prefabricated Wall Structure
of a Multi-Storey Building. In: Stavebn obzor. 2001, Vol. 10,
No. 12, pp. 21-23. ISSN 1210-4027.
[7] Witzany, J.: Behaviour of Joints of Concrete Units Loaded by
Shear under Repetitive Loading. In: Pozemn stavby journal 8
1987.

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