Cyclic Response of Woodframe Shearwalls: Loading Protocol and Rate of Loading Effects

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The lateral force demand imposed on woodframe structures by seismic events is typically resisted by a shearwall system composed of wood studs overlaid by a structural sheathing. Woodframe shearwall allowable unit load capacity is tabulated in the Uniform Building Code (IBCO 1997) and is based on the type of sheathing and the type and quantity of nails. The code values are emirical, dirived from tests performed by the American Plywood Association (APA) under quasi-static, monotonic loading using the ASTM E-72 (ASTM 1995) or the ASTM E-564 (ASTM 1995) test proccedures (Dolan 1999). Recently there has been concern among engineers that the monotonic testing that forms the basis for current design values is not representative of the actual demand imposed by a seismic event and can lead to unconservative designs. This concern is largely a result of the considerable damage that occurred to woodframe structures during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake (EERI 1995). As a result, recent shearwall tests have been performed using cyclic loading protocols with fully reversed loading cycles in an effort to reproduce the demands imposed by a seismic event. Additionall, some researchers have also increased the loading rate to what can be considered dynamic, which generally means on the order of magnitude of an actual structural response to an earthquake ground motion.


Type of resource text
Date created 2002


Author Gatto, Kip
Author Uang, Chia-Ming


Subject Wood Studs
Subject Sheathing
Subject Uniform Building Code
Subject IBCO
Subject American Plywood Association
Subject APA
Subject ASTM
Subject EERI
Genre Technical report

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Gatto, Kip and Uang, Chia-Ming. (2002). Cyclic Response of Woodframe Shearwalls: Loading Protocol and Rate of Loading Effects. CUREE - Caltech Woodframe Project Report W-13. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


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