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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 5750672, 21 pages
Research Article

Stiffness-Displacement Correlation from the RC Shear Wall Tests of the SAFE Program: Derivation of a Capacity Line Model

1European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC), Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC), 21027 Ispra, Italy
2Université Paris-Est, RENON (IRC-ESTP, IFSTTAR), IRC-ESTP, 28 avenue du Président Wilson, 94234 Cachan, France

Received 24 September 2015; Accepted 21 March 2016

Academic Editor: Santiago Garcia-Granda

Copyright © 2016 Francisco J. Molina et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The response of 13 reinforced concrete shear walls submitted to successive seismic tests has been postprocessed to produce time histories of secant stiffness and displacement oscillation amplitude. For every wall an envelope curve of displacement amplitude versus stiffness is identified which is fairly modelled by a straight line in double logarithmic scale. This relatively simple model, when used as a capacity line in combination with the demand response spectrum, is able to predict in an approximate manner the maximum response to the applied earthquakes. Moreover, the graphic representation of the demand spectrum and a unique model capacity line for a group of equal walls with different assumed design frequencies on them gives a visual interpretation of the different safety margins observed in the experiments for the respective walls. The same method allows as well constructing vulnerability curves for any design frequency or spectrum. Finally, the comparison of the different identified line models for the different walls allows us to assess the qualitative effect on the behaviour of parameters such as the reinforcement density or the added normal load.