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Behavior of Steel-Sheathed Shear Walls Subjected to Seismic and Fire Loads



Matthew S. Hoehler, Christopher M. Smith, Tara C. Hutchinson, Xiang Wang, Brian J. Meacham, Praveen Kamath


A series of tests was conducted on six 2.7 m × 3.7 m shear wall specimens consisting of cold- formed steel framing sheathed on one side with sheet steel adhered to gypsum board and on the opposite side with plain gypsum board. The specimens were subjected to various sequences of simulated seismic shear deformation and fire exposure to study the influence of multi-hazard interactions on the lateral load resistance of the walls. The test program was designed to complement a parallel effort at the University of California, San Diego to investigate a six- story building subjected to earthquakes and fires. The test results reported here indicate that the fire exposure caused a shift in the failure mode of the walls from local buckling of the sheet steel in cases without fire exposure, to global buckling of the sheet steel with an accompanying 35 % reduction in lateral load capacity after the wall had been exposed to fire. This behavior appears to be predictable, which is encouraging from the standpoint of residual lateral load capacity under these severe multi-hazard actions.
Fire Safety Journal


shear walls, cold-formed steel, fire following earthquake


Hoehler, M. , Smith, C. , Hutchinson, T. , Wang, X. , Meacham, B. and Kamath, P. (2017), Behavior of Steel-Sheathed Shear Walls Subjected to Seismic and Fire Loads, Fire Safety Journal, [online], (Accessed June 17, 2024)


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Created August 7, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018