Experimental studies on in-plane performance of plasterboard sheathed ceiling diaphragms


The ultimate goal of this study is to develop a model representing the in-plane behaviour of plasterboard ceiling diaphragms, as part of the efforts towards performance-based seismic engineering of low-rise light timber-framed (LTF) residential buildings in New Zealand (NZ).

LTF residential buildings in NZ are constructed according to a prescriptive standard – NZS 3604 Timber-framed buildings [1]. With regards to seismic resisting systems, LTF buildings constructed to NZS3604 often have irregular bracing arrangements within a floor plan. A damage survey of LTF buildings after the Canterbury earthquake revealed that structural irregularity (irregular bracing arrangement within a plan) significantly exacerbated the earthquake damage to LTF buildings. When a building has irregular bracing arrangements, the building will have not only translational deflections but also a torsional response in earthquakes. How effectively the induced torsion can be resolved depends on the stiffness of the floors/roof diaphragms. Ceiling and floor diaphragms in LTF buildings in NZ have different construction details from the rest of the world and there appears to be no information available on timber diaphragms typical of NZ practice.

This paper presents experimental studies undertaken on plasterboard ceiling diaphragms as typical of NZ residential practice. Based on the test results, a mathematical model simulating the in-plane stiffness of plasterboard ceiling diaphragms was developed, and the developed model has a similar format to that of plasterboard bracing wall elements presented in an accompany paper by Liu [2]. With these two models, three-dimensional non-linear push-over studies of LTF buildings can be undertaken to calculate seismic performance of irregular LTF buildings.


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How to Cite
Liu, A., Li, M., & Shelton, R. (2019). Experimental studies on in-plane performance of plasterboard sheathed ceiling diaphragms. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 52(2), 95-106. https://doi.org/10.5459/bnzsee.52.2.95-106