What Is Shear Wall?
In structural engineering, the shear wall is used as a vertical element for the seismic force resistance system. The structure is designed to withstand wind and seismic loads. Shearwall is designed in accordance with the International Building Code and the International Residential Code.
The resistance of shear walls depends on the material used in them, the wall thickness, and the length. In addition, its resistance depends mainly on the position of the wall in the building frame.
In these notes, we will learn about the shear wall, the types of the shear wall, why the shear wall is provided in the building?
The shear wall is the vertical compression member in the building, which is especially used to resist external forces like wind forces, seismic force. These walls are used in multi-story high-rise buildings to resist wind and earthquake forces in the structure of the building.
The thickness of this type of wall can be designed in high-rise buildings from 150 mm to 400 mm. The shear wall is able to carry the seismic load safely to the foundation.
This shear starts at the base of the wall. It is placed in a suitable place in the building, especially in wind and earthquake conditions along the length and width of the buildings.
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How Do Shear Walls Work?
Understanding the physics of this wall may require a deeper level of education in structural engineering. But an easy way to understand its working system is to imagine a four-edged wooden square by inference and consisting of essentially two columns and two beams. Support the weight from the frame so that any load is transferred through this column to the base of the square.
But if you put too much pressure on its sides slowly, the force on one side – and the square will twist and break on it. Special shear walls are designed to prevent this possibility. Its design ensures that no outdoor will blow your house during heavy winds.
The formation of shear walls, in general, supports the building. Which creates a design barrier for architects. The support against the lateral force is due to the cover covering the frame. Any windows or doors in a building are designed to be limited in terms of the total area of the shear wall.
Purpose of Shear Wall
- The shear wall is designed to safely transfer the vertical or gravitational forces coming over the structure of the building.
- The shear wall can increase the resistance of the building to the lifting forces caused by external forces.
- The shear wall is designed to make the structure more stable from the side loads of earthquakes and wind.
Function of Shear Wall
- This wall is designed to resist seismic forces, wind forces coming on the structure of the building and to provide stability to the building. The shear wall is able to safely transfer the external forces coming from the structure of the building to the foundation.
- This wall reduces the impact of external forces on the building. Therefore, the shear wall reduces the damage to the structure of the building from external forces.
- The shear wall provides great strength and inertia for the construction of the structure of the building.
Also Read: What Is Foundation Failure? | Signs of Foundation Failure | Causes of Foundation Failure
Types of Shear Wall
- Reinforced Concrete Shear Wall
- Steel Shear Wall
- Concrete Block Shear Wall
- Plywood Shear Wall
- Mid-Ply Shear Wall
1. Reinforced Concrete Wall
- Reinforced concrete shear walls are generally widely used for high-rise residential buildings. Reinforcement in the shear wall is given according to the design in the horizontal and vertical directions. RC Shear Wall is provided in the final zone in the building. Hence, they are referred to as boundary elements.
- The thickness of the RC shear wall depends on various factors. These factors include the thermal insulation requirements of the building, the age of the building, the number of floors of the building, etc. Based on these factors, the thickness of the shear wall is determined from 140 mm to 500 mm.
- In general, the provision of shear wall thickness according to the height of the building remains constant.
Also Read: What Is Tension? | What Is Compression? | Difference Between Compression and Tension
2. Steel Shear Wall
- The steel shear wall is made up of boundary columns and horizontal floor beams. The steel shear wall serves as a plate girder in the building.
- The steel plate wall serves as the web of the plate girder in the steel shear wall. In the same way, the boundary columns in it serve as flanges in the shear wall. The horizontal beam plate in the shear wall acts as a stiffener for the girder.
3. Concrete Block Wall
- Concrete block shear walls are constructed by providing in hollow concrete blocks with reinforcement bars. Reinforcement in concrete block masonry is commonly used to increase resistance to seismic loads.
- During masonry work of concrete block reinforcement is placed in both vertical and horizontal directions. After placing reinforcement in the concrete block masonry, the concrete grout is poured into the hollow space.
- This type of shear wall can resist gravity loads and lateral loads. Therefore, a shear wall can perform the same function as a load-bearing wall.
Also Read: Types of Beams in Constructions
4. Plywood Shear Wall
Plywood shear walls are traditionally used shear walls, which are commonly called timber shear walls. This type of shear wall is made using plywood sheets and studs. In this type of shear wall, plywood sheets transfer the shear force to the base. While studs provide stability to the structure by resisting stress or compression.
Now plywood shear walls have been redesigned using new technology. In which steel sheet, sure board, etc., are used in the shear wall instead of plywood in the material.
5. Mid-Ply Shear Wall
A mid-ply shear wall is a form of a modified shear wall of plywood shear wall. This type of shear wall has an extra plywood sheet arranged in the middle of the plywood shear wall. And a series of pairs of studs located on either side of the mid ply shear wall. The studs attach the outer plywood sheets to the mid-ply.
Mid-ply shear wall eliminates problems with standard plywood shear walls. And mid-ply shear walls have a higher lateral carrying capacity than plywood shear walls.
Mid-ply shear wall eliminates the problems found in standard plywood shear walls. And mid-ply shear walls have higher lateral carrying capacity than plywood shear wall.
Also Read : What Is a Concrete Wall Finish? | Types of Concrete Finishes
Advantages of Shear Wall
- This wall has good resistance to structural and non-structural elements in earthquake-like conditions. So as to reduce the damage to the elements of the structure.
- The design of the shear wall in the building works efficiently in terms of reducing the cost of construction and earthquake damage.
- This wall can be made in different shapes as required, and it can provide proper reinforcement in the design of the shape.
- This wall supports the structure of the building as a thinner wall.
- This type of wall can be an effective use of space for the building.
- The shear wall provides strength and rigidity in the direction of adequate alignment in the building.
- These types of walls are usually constructed in high-rise buildings to withstand lateral winds and seismic forces.
- The construction of the building can be accelerated due to the shear wall.
- This type of wall is thin so concrete can be saved for high-rise buildings.
- Since this type of wall is thin, the structure of the building becomes lightweight.
Also Read : What Is Vacuum Concrete? | The Necessity of Vacuum Concrete | Properties of Vacuum Concrete | Application of Vacuum Concrete | Advantages &Disadvantages of Vacuum Concrete | Process of Vacuum Concrete
Disadvantages of Shear Wall
- Supervision is required for adequate compaction during concreting of the shear wall in formwork. If care is not taken, the void remains in the shear wall. Therefore, the strength of the shear wall decreases.
- This type of wall does not have any openings.
- Shuttering this type of wall requires skilled labor.
- It is very difficult to place reinforcement in the shear wall. It is also difficult to place reinforcement, especially in c type shear wall.
Also Read : What Is MDF? | MDF Board Uses | MDF Board Properties | Application of MDF Board |
Application of Shear Wall
- This type of wall is constructed in the building to safely resist gravity / vertical load and earthquake/wind sideload.
- This type of wall is provided along with other sidewalls to give stability to the structure of the building.
- This type of wall in the building is built to resist lifting forces due to external air pressure.
- The use of the this walls in high-rise buildings can be safely provided to resist external forces generated in the structure.
Also Read : What Is Wood? | What Are the Uses of Wood in Construction? | Types of Wood
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
What Is Shear Wall?
The shear wall is the vertical compression member in the building, which is especially used to resist external forces like wind force, seismic force. These walls are used in multi-story high-rise buildings to resist wind and earthquake forces in the structure of the building.
Shear Wall Construction
Shear wall construction for a building consists of a rigid vertical diaphragm. Which is able to safely transfer lateral forces from the exterior walls, floors and ceilings of the building to the ground base. It provides security to the building
Wood Shear Wall
wood shear wall is the most common type of shear wall system used in engineered wood-frame buildings.
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