Experimental Resistance Function Development of Steel Studs under Combined Axial and Flexural Loads Using Load-Tree Testing

April 29, 2014
Publication: Proceedings of the Structures Congress 2014, April 3-5, 2014, Boston, MA, ASCE
Author(s): Aviram, Ady O’Laughlin, C. Agee, Brett Nielsen, Jeffrey

Abstract: Understanding the response of primary, load-bearing structural components in Antiterrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP) applications is important because of the critical role they play in ensuring building structural integrity. According to current AT/FP design standards established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), there is insufficient information available to develop response limits specifically for members in combined flexure and compression. For this reason, stringent response limits are defined for many blast-resistant structural systems including steel stud walls, thus essentially eliminating their use in many Department of Defense facilities. This paper discusses an ongoing study into the performance of load-bearing steel stud wall systems, currently underway at the Engineering Mechanics and Explosive Effects Research Group (EMEERG) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. EMEERG has recently expanded its laboratory capabilities to study structural systems and components under combined axial and flexural demands. These studies will shed light on the residual load-bearing capacity of different building components and fill a knowledge gap with the possible benefit of relaxing response limits prescribed by the COE. Such lab tests are useful in characterizing response at a fraction of the cost of full-scale field tests using live explosives.