Minimum vertical reinforcement in RC walls
Theoretical requirements for low and high ductility demands
Recent earthquakes and research have shown that the minimum vertical reinforcement requirements in current concrete standards are insufficient to ensure well distributed cracking occurs in ductile reinforced concrete (RC) walls. To address the deficiencies of existing requirements, new theory was proposed to calculate the minimum distributed and end zone vertical reinforcement required for RC walls to meet current performance expectations. The distributed vertical reinforcement requirement was intended to prevent non-ductile behaviour for walls with low ductility demands, and was derived based on the requirement that nominal flexural strength must exceed the cracking moment capacity. The vertical reinforcement required in the ends of the wall was intended to ensure that well distributed secondary cracks form in the plastic hinge region of walls with high ductility demands, and was derived to ensure that the concrete tensile strength could be overcome by the tensile demands imposed when the vertical reinforcement in the ends of the wall yields. The proposed requirements considered the key parameters that influence the behaviour of walls with minimum vertical reinforcement. In addition, the proposed formulas were compared with current minimum vertical reinforcement limits from different concrete design standards by considering the margin of safety between cracking and nominal flexural strength and the secondary cracking behaviour. The deficiencies of the existing requirements were demonstrated and the proposed requirements were proved to be superior for walls with both low and high ductility demands.
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