Nonlinear Racking Analysis of Nailed Walls


  • Rafik Y. Itani
  • Sergio A. Obregon


Fasteners, framed structures, nails, shear forces, shear strength, sheathing, structural analysis, studs, walls


An energy formation of nonlinear analysis of racking resistance of nailed walls is presented. The analysis is dependent on the nonlinear load-slip relationship of nailed connections. The method permits the calculation of the racking force associated with a given horizontal displacement and uses as input data panel geometry, number and spacing of nails, and load distortion relationship of a single connection.

Two 4 ft x 8 ft panels with two thicknesses of 1/2 in. and 5/8 in. plywood are analyzed using linear and nonlinear methods, and results of horizontal displacement versus racking force are displayed graphically. It is shown that while the two methods converge at ultimate loads, true representation of wall behavior at low levels of displacement is best described through nonlinear analysis. Good comparison is obtained with a finite element approach.


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