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Effects of Modeling Decisions on the Lateral Performance of Cold-Formed Steel Framed Walls



Zhidong Zhang, Matthew Speicher, Amanpreet Singh, Tara Hutchinson, Benjamin Schafer


This study proposes a modeling protocol for the lateral performance of cold-formed steel (CFS) framed wall-lines that contain both steel sheet sheathed shear walls as well as gravity walls and may include the impact of non-structural finish on these wall-lines. For example, a common structural detail that impacts the lateral performance of wall-lines is the presence of a ledger track used to connect the floor system to the wall. Ledger tracks or similar end joists are common in wall-lines in buildings, but almost never present in shear wall experimental testing programs. In addition, a common non-structural detail impacting wall-line lateral performance is the type of finish system (e.g., gypsum board). In conventional CFS lateral design, all non-structural and many structural details are ignored, thus underestimating the strength and potentially the ductility. A numerical study employing OpenSeesPy is validated against a unique set of wall-line tests and then exercised with or without ledger tracks, as well as with or without finishes, herein. The model is also applied to an unsymmetric wall-line to examine the impact of the location of shear walls within a wall-line on the strength and ductility as well as the demands on connecting elements. The modeling results characterize the degree by which both strength and ductility of wall-lines can increase due to the presence of a ledger track and/or finish system. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to explore the effects of various additional wall-line details, including track bending stiffness, bottom track shear anchor spacing, and magnitude of gravity loading. The developed OpenSeesPy model can capture the impact of detailing and reveal the effects of wall-line configurations, thus this modeling framework can be further incorporated into building-level numerical studies.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Cold-Formed Steel Research Consortium Colloquium
Conference Dates
October 17-19, 2022
Conference Location
Baltimore, MD, US
Conference Title
Cold-Formed Steel Research Consortium Colloquium


Cold-formed steel, shear wall, seismic


Zhang, Z. , Speicher, M. , Singh, A. , Hutchinson, T. and Schafer, B. (2022), Effects of Modeling Decisions on the Lateral Performance of Cold-Formed Steel Framed Walls, Proceedings of the Cold-Formed Steel Research Consortium Colloquium, Baltimore, MD, US, [online], (Accessed April 22, 2024)
Created October 17, 2022, Updated November 8, 2023