Blast resistance of steel plate shear walls designed for seismic loading

Gordon P. Warn, Michel Bruneau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Steel plate shear walls (SPSWs) have become an increasingly popular lateral force resisting system in buildings. Although originally conceived to resist earthquake forces, recent developments raised questions as to the ability of SPSWs to resist blast loading, whereby the plate would resist out-of-plane impulsive pressures. To investigate this, two 0.4-scale single story SPSW specimens, representing the first story of a four story prototype SPSW, were fabricated and subjected to explosive charges. The out-of-plane resistance of the infill plate was analyzed using nonlinear finite-element analysis (FEA) and yield line theory. Results of these analyses showed the out-of-plane resistance is governed by the large deformations and inelastic material behavior and that yield line theory significantly underestimated the out-of-plane resistance in comparison with the finite-element analysis for infill plates typical of SPSW construction. Based on these results a simplified plastic analysis procedure is proposed to estimate the out-of-plane resistance of SPSW infill plates that is shown to agree well with the results of the FEA. Results of the experimental investigation showed the SPSW had a limited capacity to resist out-of-plane blast loading and that the typical seismic detail for connecting the infill plate to the boundary frame might not be appropriate for blast applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1222-1230
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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