Project Title/ID Number Performance Evaluation of Gypsum Wallboard Partitions—5322003
Start/End Dates 10/1/03—9/30/04
Project Leader José Restrepo (UCSD/F)
Team Members Anna Lang (UCSD/GS)

F=faculty; GS=graduate student; US=undergraduate student; PD=post-doc; I=industrial collaborator; O=other

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1. Project Goals/Objectives:

This project will continue to continue to develop data and models to characterize the performance of gypsum wallboard partitions under imposed drifts, of the type common to modern office, hotel, and laboratory buildings.

2. Role of this project in supporting PEER’s mission (vision):

Fragility models obtained from experimental work will be used to calibrate loss estimation models by other PEER researchers. Apart from the direct usefulness of the resulting fragility models for architectural partitions, this investigation will serve as a model (or best practice) of how to apply the PEER-PBEE methodology to evaluate Engineering demand parameter (DP) to Damage Measures (DM).

3. Methodology Employed:

Quasi-static reversed loading experimental work.

4. Brief Description of past year’s accomplishments (Year 6) & more detail on expected Year 7 accomplishments:

Year 6: The objectives of Year 6 project were to develop data and models to characterize the performance of gypsum wallboard partitions, of the type common to modern office, hotel, and laboratory buildings. The primary variables and parameters to be addressed were wall configuration (aspect ratio, openings, etc), boundary and support conditions, performance damage states, and loading protocol. The investigation will culminate in the development of parametric fragility models relating EDPs, such as interstory drift, to various DMs, such as cracking pattern, which take into account appropriate sources of uncertainties in the response. Sixteen gypsum wallboard partitions were tested. The main variables studied were wall configuration (aspect ratio, openings, etc), boundary and support conditions. The wallboards were screwed to steel studs using standard practice. Experimental work was designed in support from an Industry Advisory Board. All tests were extensively instrumented. Damage states were obtained from each of the tests. A database complemented with pictures will be made available.

Figure 1 shows the typical wall configurations tested. The first configuration included a steel doorframe typically found in office buildings. The second configuration was a solid wall. Other configurations included gypsum wallboards of partial height, commonly used when no fireproof requirements dictate as well as wallboards attached to heavy steel studs.

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Figure 1. Examples of wallboard partition units tested

Testing was conducted to identify the development of the following damage states:

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(a) Wallboard and joint cracking (b) Screw head popping

Figure 2. Examples of damage state DS1


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(a) Partial wallboard separation (b) Buckling of wallboard

Figure 3. Examples of damage state DS2

Damage state DS1 was observed when the screws head popped out, when minor cracking developed in the wallboards, and when incipient buckling was observed in the baseboard. Figure 2 shows examples of DS2. Damage State DS2 was observed when large wallboard pieces broke away and when large ridges developed in the wallboards. Examples of DS2 are depicted in Figure 3.

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(a) Internal steel stud buckling (b) Exterior steel stud buckling

Figure 4. Examples of damage state DS3

The final damage state, DS3, required the entire replacement of the wallboard and steel studs. Figure 4 shows examples of DS3. The damage states were correlated to the imposed interstory drift. Figure 5 plots the development of the damage states with drift.

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Figure 5. Examples of damage state DS3

Year 7: Two units will be built with wallboards on the four sides, thus representing an actual office environment. The units will be tested under bi-directional loading during summer of 2004. These tests are aimed at observing the effect of bi-directional loading on the development of the Damage states. Figure 6 shows a rendering of a test unit.

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Figure 6. Rendering of a Test Unit for Year 7

5. Other Similar Work Being Conducted Within and Outside PEER and How This Project Differs:


6. Plans for Year 8 if project is expected to be continued:

Experimental work aimed at improving connection details to delay the development of the damage states in gypsum partition walls.

7. Describe any actual instances where you are aware your results have been used in industry:


8. Expected Milestones & Deliverables:

This project is envisioned as the final year of a two-year effort that will entail close coordination with other PEER researchers and a small group of experts to advise on the investigation.

Major deliverables will be:

Major milestones are as follows:
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