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Technical Topics

T T- 0 5 3 A 

FEBRUARY 2007

Wood Structural Panel


Shear Wall Deflection Formula
Shear wall deflection is caused by the combination of bending of end posts, shear deformation of wood structural
panel sheathing, sheathing fastener slip, and deformation and displacement of hold-downs at end posts.
The following formula for calculating shear wall deflection is derived from an approach first described in APA
Laboratory Report 55 (see references) for determining deflection of wood structural panel diaphragms (see References
4 and 5, also Reference 7). The formulas for calculating deflection of diaphragms and shear walls are described in the
International Building Code (IBC) (see Reference 6). The diaphragm formula first appeared in the 1970 UBC standards, and the shear wall formula was introduced in the 1979 UBC standards.
Assume: Cantilever beam with concentrated load at free end (e.g., top plate).
=

8vh3
vh
+
+ 0.75hen +
EAb
tG

( hb )d

Where = calculated deflection, in.


v = maximum unit shear due to design loads at the top of the wall, lb/ft

h = wall height, ft

E = modulus of elasticity of boundary element (end posts), lb/in.2

A = area of boundary element (end posts), in.2

b = wall length, ft

G = modulus of rigidity (shear) of wood structural panel sheathing, lb/in.2

T = effective thickness in shear of wood structural panel sheathing, in.

En = fastener deformation, in.

da = deflection due to anchorage details (rotation and slip at hold-downs), in.

2007 APA The Engineered Wood Association

1. B E N DING DE F LECTION d b

db =

Ph3
3EI

where db = bending deflection of end posts at top of wall (free end), in.
P = vb

[ ]

I = Io + Ad2 = A

b 2
(2)(122) = 72Ab2 where Io = 0
2

Therefore: db =

vbh3(123)
8vh3
2 =
3(72)EAb
EAb

2 . S H E A R DE F LECTION ( WOOD S TRUCTU R A L PA N E L S H E ATHING) d s

ds =

M
AwG

where

ds = shear deflection of web (sheathing) relative to base of wall (fixed end), in.

M = bending moment relative to base of wall, in.-lb

Aw = cross-section area of web (sheathing), in.2 (width x effective thickness for shear)

M = (12)vbh
Aw = (12)tb
Therefore: ds =

(12)vbh
vh
=
(12)tbG
tG

For wood structural panels, use Gvtv values for tG, from APA Panel Design Specification, form D510A.
3 . S H E A R DE F LECTION (FA S TE N E R S LIP) d n

Assume: Shear deflection due to fastener slip is determined in a similar manner as for shear deflection due to web
(sheathing) shear.
dn = Shear wall displacement due to fastener slip, in.
Calculate the lateral load per fastener at the sheathing panel boundary (unit shear / number of fasteners per foot).
From a load-slip curve of the same type of sheathing-framing connection under similar seasoning conditions, determine the corresponding fastener slip, en. (Note: the load-slip curve for fasteners in wood is non-linear, following the
general form en = a(v n)b where a and b are constants, and vn = lateral load per fastener.)
Fasteners at sheathing panel boundaries are assumed to be stressed and therefore strained equally. The resultant
fastener slip at the corners of sheathing panels, due to fastener slip along the long and short edges of the panel, is
( en2 + en2 ) = en 2. This represents the movement of the wall frame at the corner with respect to the sheathing panel.
The resultant fastener slip is oriented at a 45 angle with respect to the panel edges.

2007 APA The Engineered Wood Association

The component of fastener slip that is parallel with the panel diagonal (which makes an angle of 26.57 with the long
edge of a 4 x 8 foot panel) is (en 2)(cos 45 26.57) = (en 2)(0.95) = 1.34 en. Similar elongation occurs at the opposite
corner, so total elongation of the frame with respect to the sheathing is e'n = (2)(1.34 en) = 2.68 en.
For the sheathing panel itself, the total elongation along the panel diagonal due to internal shear stress is determined
per Reference 5 as follows:
es =

v1
(0.8)v1I1 (0.4)v1I1
cos2a(I1) =
=
N
2G
G

(0.4)(107.33)v
3.578v
=
12tG
tG

Where: es = shear strain along panel diagonal, in.


v1 = shear stress (lb/in2) when unit shear load = v (lb/ft)
l1 = panel diagonal, in. (107.33 in. for 4 ft x 8 ft panel)
a = 45 angle between panel diagonal and long edge of panel. For 4 ft x 8 ft panel, a = 45 25.57 =
18.43. Therefore, Cos 2a = Cos 36.86 = 0.80.
N = modulus of rigidity (rotation) = shear stress / rotational strain, lb/in2. [Note: Per Reference 5, rotational
strain = (0.5)(shear strain). Accordingly, G (modulus of rigidity shear) = (0.5)(N) (modulus of rigidity
rotation), or N = 2G.
Shear wall deflection due to sheathing panel shear (ds) is proportional to es. Similarly, shear wall deflection due to fastener slip (dn) is proportional to elongation of the frame (e'n).
ds dn
=
es e'n
Substituting above values and rearranging terms,
dn = dse'n

1
vh
Gt
=
2.68en
= 0.75hen
es
tG
3.578v

4 . DE F LECTION DUE TO HOLD -DOW N DE FOR M ATION 


A N D DI S PL AC E M E NT d a

da = Hold-down deformation, in. Also include fastener slip relative to end post, in. Obtain information from manufacturers brochures for proprietary code-accepted products.
Hold-down contribution to shear wall deflection is influenced by aspect (height/lentgh) ratio of shear wall. Multiply
da by aspect ratio h ; e.g., h d .
b
b a

2007 APA The Engineered Wood Association

R E F E R E NC E S :
1. APA Design/Construction Guide Diaphragms and Shear Walls (APA Form L350), 2004. APA The Engineered Wood

Association, Tacoma, WA 98466.


2. Panel Design Specification (APA Form D510), 2003. APA The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, WA 98466.
3. APA Plywood Design Specification (APA Form Y510), 1998. APA The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, WA

98466.
4. Countryman, David, 1952, APA Laboratory Report 55, Lateral Tests on Plywood Sheathed Diaphragms. (Reaffirmed

8/1963; now out of print). APA The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, WA 98466.
5. Norris, Charles B., 1942, Technique of Plywood. I. F. Laucks, Inc., Seattle, WA.
6. International Building Code, 2006. International Code Council, Country Club Hills, IL.

We have field representatives in many major U.S. cities and in Canada who can help answer questions involving
APA trademarked products. For additional assistance in specifying engineered wood products, contact us:
APA HEADQUARTERS: 7011 So. 19th St. Tacoma, Washington 98466 (253) 565-6600 Fax: (253) 565-7265
Form No. TT-053A

APA PRODUCT SUPPORT HELP DESK: (253) 620-7400 E-mail: help@apawood.org

Revised February 2007

DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein is based on APA The Engineered Wood Associations continuing
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make any warranty, expressed or implied, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the use, application
of, and/or reference to opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations included in this publication. Consult
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2007 APA The Engineered Wood Association