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APCBEE Procedia 9 (2014) 285 290

2013 5th International Conference on Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering

(ICBEE 2013)
2013 2nd International Conference on Civil Engineering (ICCEN 2013)

Evaluate Performance of Precast Concrete wall to wall

Ramin Vagheia, Farzad Hejazia,*, Hafez Taheria, Mohd Saleh Jaafarrb and Abang
Abdullah Abang Alic
Civil Department, Engineering Faculry, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia
University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia
Housing Reseach Centre, Engineering Faculry, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia


The building industry keeps growing towards industrialization in construction by implementing Industrialized
Building System (IBS). The components of IBS Structure which are floors, walls, columns, beams and roofs
are assembled and erected on the site by properly joints to form the final units. The present study deals with
the evaluation of precast wall connections subjected to inplane lateral ground movement. For this purpose, 3D
finite element model of precast walls and connection is developed using finite element model. The interaction
between casting concrete and precast concrete as well as reinforcements and concrete is modelled with
nonlinear stress-strain behavior, to consider the yielding of steel and concrete. The model was subjected to
lateral ground movement and the performance of connection is evaluated in terms of the stress, deformation
and absolute plastic strain.

2013 Published
2014 Farzad ElsevierbyB.V.
Published Selection
Elsevier B.V. and/or peer review under responsibility of Asia-Pacific
Selection andBiological
peer review& Environmental
under responsibility Engineering
of Asia-Pacific Society
Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society

Keywords: Industrialized Building System (IBS), Precast Concrete Connection, Finite Element Analysis

1. Introduction

Nowadays, much more consideration paid out to industrial building systems (IBS) as opposed to prior.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +60389466362;

E-mail address:

2212-6708 2014 Farzad Hejazi. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Selection and peer review under responsibility of Asia-Pacific Chemical, Biological & Environmental Engineering Society
286 Ramin Vaghei et al. / APCBEE Procedia 9 (2014) 285 290

Actually challenge achievement period would be the cut-throat element between many firms. Indeed, the
improvement of new technologies and engineering, new structural systems and material result in evolution in
industrial construction [1].
Many countries try to develop the industrial building systems. In the United Kingdom, Modern Methods of
Construction (MMC) are defined as technologies that provide efficient strategy to prepare more production
with minimum time. It includes prefabricated methods, off-site production and offset manufacturing for the
building[2]. In Malaysia the term of Industrial Building Systems (IBS) is used for a process of producing an
element in a controlled environment condition, transportation, and erects the members on main place [3].
Industrialized building system is the term to represent the concept of prefabrication and it has been widely
used as a common understanding by researchers [3-6]. The most common applications of precast concrete
members associated with building construction are walls. Precast concrete walls provide an excellent function
for low to medium rise commercial and industrial buildings. They are relatively easy to manufacture, efficient,
durable, and desirable. The biggest challenge is the behaviour and possible failure of the connections under
severe lateral loads against earthquake or wind excitations [7-10]. Various types of precast connections have
been studied by different researchers. Birkeland found out that to avoid damages, all potential failure planes
must be crossed by steel. In precast work, these planes may be either between elements, or inside an element.
For the former, the connection itself must provide the necessary strength. For the latter, the steel is usually
rebar, for which it is essential that adequate anchorage be provided on both sides of the potential failure plane
under consideration [11].
The most important part of the precast concrete wall is connection between two walls, which ensure the
continuity of load transferring of the precast wall system. Waddell claimed that connections or joints are
implemented in IBS structure for connecting precast components to each other and also to connect precast
components to the structural frame such as cast-in place concrete, steel, or masonry [12]. Chakrabarti and et al,
Figured out that although the horizontal joints at the floor levels considered as a weak link in the structural
system, they are comparatively much stiffer than the vertical joints because of the normal pressure applied on
the joints. It is due to self-weight of the wall panels and other superimposed loads [13]. Frosch studied the
connection of discrete concrete elements to each other which is often required in precast construction and
realized that the actual shear key settings (alignment as well as spacing) got absolutely no significant impact
on the particular peak capability no effect within the residual capability. Furthermore, he found out was
affected by relative strength between the grout and panel concrete [14].
Ong suggested that in one-to-one horizontal loop connections, an increase in the loop overlapping length, a
decrease in the internal diameter, or an overlap spacing of the loop resulted in an increase in the flexural
strength of the precast specimen tested [15]. Al-Aghrabi et al, tested the structural performance of two type of
wall-slab connection under reversible quasi-static cyclic loading [16].
Based on the extensive literature, it can be mentioned that most of researchers evaluate different connections;
however, most of them simplified the connections in terms of geometry or constitutive model in their
simulation. The main aim of this study is to provide the precise behaviour of precast wall to wall connection
by considering material nonlinearity and actual geometry of the components against lateral loading.

2. Wall to Wall Connection

In this study the 3 dimension finite element model of precast concrete connection and its interaction with
two adjust concrete panels was simulated by the incremental application of the lateral displacement at top side
of the left panel. An isometric view of developed model and cross section of the panel and hook geometry are
shown in Figure.1.(a). The wall Panels` dimensions are assumed as 1.2m height, 0.6m width and 0.125m
thickness. Furthermore, connection of walls which is located in the gap between two panels is 1.2m height,
0.15m width and 0.125m thickness and all are supported on the ground. Hooks length are assumed as
Ramin Vaghei et al. / APCBEE Procedia 9 (2014) 285 290 287

469.5mm which 400mm is effective length and Details of reinforcement in wall panels and connection is
showed in Figure.1.(b).
25.5mm 400mm 150mm 400mm
mm 70mm




600mm Hook
(10mm Diameter) Left Panel Connection Right Panel

(a) Geometry of right/left panel and hook (mm) (b) Reinforcement detailing (mm)

Fig. 1. Geometry characteristics

2.1. Finite Element Modeling of Wall Panels and Connection

The 3D FEM model of precast wall to wall connection is developed in this research by aid of ABAQUS
software and dynamic explicit non-linear analysis is carried out. The finite element mesh model of concrete
and steel used in the analysis and boundary condition are shown in Figure. 2. (a). C3D8R, T3D2 are
implemented for modelling of concrete and reinforcement/hooks respectively. The IBS walls are pinned at the
bottom and all the translational degrees of freedoms are constrained at the bottom. Self-
f weight of walls also is
considered as gravity load. Loading above the IBS wall performed as a lateral displacement which was
distributed at each node on the top surface of the left wall as showed in Figure. 2. (b). Loading increment is
gradually increased every 2seconds from zero to 10mm up to 20seconds.

(a) Mesh of developed model (b) loading and boundary condition

Fig. 2. Meshing, loading and boundary condition of wall panels and connection
288 Ramin Vaghei et al. / APCBEE Procedia 9 (2014) 285 290

Elastic parts beside the plastic ranges are considered for steel and concrete as components` material in
simulation. Linear elastic for both material are assumed, however, to prepare the accurate behavior of panels
as well as connection for plastic range of concrete and steel damage plasticity and linear plastic are selected as
constitutive models respectively.
The Material properties of concrete and steel are given in Table1.

Table 1. Material properties

Material Young Modulus E (KPa

( ) Poissons ratio () Density
Concrete 35000 0.19 2.4E-009
196000 0.3 7.85E-009

3. Results and Discussion

The numerical analysis is conducted to investigate the effect of the lateral displacements on response of
precast wall to wall connection. To find out the effect of the incremental lateral movements three key features
including the maximum principal stresses, deformation and absolute plastic strain of both concrete panels and
steel reinforcements are investigated. The maximum principal stress distribution on precast wall panels and
reinforcements are depicted in Figure3.
As seen in Figure 3, the maximum principal stress has occurred in the BRC reinforcements in the left panel
with about 284MPa which means the reinforcement are in the plastic range, however, the concrete panels stay
in the elastic zone with around 30MPa as an maximum principal stress. Based on the observation, it can be
seen that upper hook has much more stress in comparison with the rest of hooks and the reason might be lies
in the interface failure which will be started at top points. So, it is indicated that connection is started to fail at
top with about 2mm movement of left panel.

(a) Concrete panels (b) Reinforcements and hooks

Fig. 3. Stress distribution in model

Figure 4 illustrates the deformation of concrete panels as well as BRC reinforcements. The maximum
deformation observed in the left concrete panel is around 6.48mm, so the cause might be lies in rupture of
interface between precast concrete and cast in-situ concrete of connection, however, the maximum
Ramin Vaghei et al. / APCBEE Procedia 9 (2014) 285 290 289

deformation of BRC reinforcement is about 4.69mm.

(a) Concrete Panels (b) Reinforcements and hooks

Fig. 4. Displacement distribution in model

Figure 5 explains the crack propagation trend in the concrete panels as well as in the connection. Based on
the graph, it can assert that the absolute plastic strain for the concrete panels are about 5e-2, while as the
correspondence value for the reinforcement is about 3.65e-02. Consequently, based on the contour results it
can be mentioned that the crack will be occurred in these positions sequentially from the left concrete panel
and then it proceeds to the connection and right panel simultaneously.

(a) Concrete panels (b) Reinforcements and hooks

Fig. 5. Plastic strain distribution of developed model

Figure 6 shows the capacity curve for common precast concrete connection which is derived from the
pushover analysis up to 10mm displacement so the ultimate support reaction as shear force is about 300 KN.

4. Conclusion

In the present research an attempt has been made to investigate behavior of precast walls connection during
applying the incremental lateral load. So the finite element model of two wall panels and their connection is
developed and subjected to lateral loads. By tracing the crack throughout the IBS wall and connection, it can
be mentioned that the crack propagations in the IBS walls and connection mostly occurred at the bottom of
the IBS wall and along the interface simultaneously. Furthermore, the lateral inplane loads show a few crack
on the bond between the IBS walls and connection. Based on the results it can assert that the common
290 Ramin Vaghei et al. / APCBEE Procedia 9 (2014) 285 290

connection has also low efficiency in terms of capacity against lateral loading and consequently it can be
claimed that the common connection role can be ignored in the lateral inplane loading.

Base Shear (KN)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Displacement (mm)

Fig. 6. Capacity curve based on maximum displacement vs. reaction forces


This work received financial support from Housing Research Center of UPM and NAEIM Company and
was further supported by the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia through FRGS Research Projects No.
5524254 and No. 5524256 and the supports are gratefully acknowledged.

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