Test and Analysis of a New Ductile Shear Connection Design for RC Shear Walls

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This paper presents a new and construction-friendly shear connection for assembly of precast reinforced concrete shear wall elements. In the proposed design, the precast elements have indented interfaces and are connected by a narrow zone grouted with mortar and reinforced with overlapping U-bar loops. Contrary to the classical shear connections, the planes of the U-bar loops are here parallel to the plane of the wall elements. This feature enables a construction-friendly installation of the elements without the risk of rebars clashing. The core of mortar inside each U-bar loop is reinforced with a transverse double T-headed bar to ensure transfer of tension between the overlapping U-bars. Push-off tests show that a significantly ductile load-displacement response can be obtained by the new solution as compared to the performance of the conventional keyed shear connection design. The influence of the interface indentation geometry was investigated experimentally and the failure modes in the push-off tests were identified by use of digital image correlation (DIC). For strength prediction, rigid plastic upper bound models have been developed with inspiration from the observed failure mechanisms. Satisfactory agreement between tests and calculations has been obtained.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStructural Concrete
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)189-204
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Keyed shear connections
  • Ductility
  • Robustness
  • Concrete plasticity
  • Digital image correlation


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