Large-Scale Cyclic Testing of Steel-Plate Shear Walls with Coupling

Daniel J. Borello, Larry A. Fahnestock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The steel-plate shear wall with coupling (SPSW-WC) system is a natural extension of the conventional steel-plate shear wall (SPSW) seismic force-resisting system. The SPSW-WC configuration is created by linking a pair of SPSW piers together with coupling beams at the floor levels. Two half-scale, three-story specimens were tested using hybrid controls to simulate the bottom three stories of six-story prototype structures. The experimental SPSW-WC specimens demonstrated robust cyclic performance. Both specimens reached 4% lateral drift, the maximum displacement that could be imposed by the facility, with minimal strength degradation. Additionally, a large amount of energy was dissipated during each test, with over 20% equivalent viscous damping observed in the 4% drift cycles. The web plates, horizontal boundary elements, and coupling beams all exhibited ductile response through large inelastic deformations. The SPSW-WC configuration was shown to be a viable seismic lateral force resisting system for use in high seismic regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04017133
JournalJournal of Structural Engineering (United States)
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Coupled walls seismic design
  • Large-scale testing
  • Metal and composite structures
  • Steel structures
  • Steel-plate shear walls

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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