Shear Wall Failure Mechanisms
          The perforated shear wall pictured below was subjected to a static racking load applied at the upper right corner.  The bottom of the wall was anchored to a rigid foundation with anchor bolts, and a hold-down was located in the lower right corner.  The wall was loaded to maximum capacity (the point at which the wall could not resist any additional load), then subsequently loaded to ultimate failure (the point at which the wall could not sustain any additional displacement).

           The primary source of failure was the behavior of the nailed connection between the sheathing and framing.  Both nail pull-through (the head of the nail is pulled through the sheathing) and nail withdrawal (the nail is pulled out of the framing) were localized failure mechanisms that contributed to the failure of the wall. 

Click on a region of the wall to more closely view the damage.

Wall Construction

Geometry:   8' x 8' wall with 30.5" x 32" opening 
Framing:   2x4 Douglas Fir-Larch, Standard Grade (G=0.50)
Sheathing:   7/16 inch OSB
Nails:   8d common spaced 4 inches on center.
Design Shear Capacity:
(Perforated Method)    
2,080 lb
Max. Shear Capacity:   6,100 lb


 *Please complete the survey when finished viewing this module. Student ID required.*
Back to
Shear Wall Main Page
Topics of this module include:

Introduction, Load Path, Segmented Design Method, UBC Design Table,
Wall Shear, Dimension Ratios, Chord Design, Anchorage,
Perforated Design Method, Method Comparison,