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Steel Strong-Wall® Anchor Reinforcement Solutions on Grade Beams

Simpson Strong-Tie® now provides grade beam anchorage solutions for the Steel Strong-Wall®, which have been calculated to conform to ACI 318-11, Appendix D. Through funding from the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California, initial testing at Scientific Construction Laboratories Inc. confirmed the need to comply with Appendix D requirements to prevent plastic hinging at anchor locations (D.3.3.2). Follow-on testing at the Simpson Strong-Tie Tyrell Gilb Research Laboratory was then used to confirm these findings and validate performance. The testing consisted of specimens with closed tie anchor reinforcement, non-closed u-stirrups and control specimens without anchor reinforcement. Flexural and shear reinforcement were designed to resist Appendix D amplified anchorage forces and compared to test beams designed for non-amplified strength level forces. The test program has proven the performance of the anchor reinforcement details developed by Simpson Strong-Tie.

Grade Beam Test
Grade Beam Test Photo

Significant Findings From Testing:

Grade beam flexural and shear capacity is critical to anchor performance and must be designed to exceed the demands created by the attached structure. In wind load applications, this demand includes the factored demand from the Steel Strong-Wall (SSW) shearwall. In seismic applications, testing and analysis has shown that in order to achieve the anchor performance expected by Appendix D design methodologies, the concrete member design strength needs to resist the amplified anchor design demand from Appendix D Section D.3.3.4.3. To help designers achieve this, Simpson Strong-Tie recommends designers apply the seismic design moment listed in the table below at the SSW location when evaluating the grade beam design strength under seismic loads. The tabulated moment correlates to the lowest of the anchor tension design limits of Appendix D Section D.3.3.4.3 as they relate to each SSW model.

Closed tie anchor reinforcement is critical to maintain the integrity of the reinforced core where the anchor is located. Testing with u-stirrups that did not include complete closed ties showed premature splitting failure of the grade beam.

Steel Strong-Wall Grade Beam Anchorage Solutions
Steel Strong-Wall Model Anchor Bolt Model No. Anchor Diameter (in.) Anchor Reinforcement for Wind and Seismic LRFD Applied Seismic Design Moment for Grade Beam Design (ft.-lbs.)
Standard-Strength SSWAB High-Strength SSWABHS Standard-Strength SSWAB High-Strength SSWABHS
SSW12 SSWAB3/4 3/4 2- #4 Closed Ties / Wall 5- #4 Closed Ties / Wall 16000 23000
SSW15 SSWAB1 1 4- #4 Closed Ties / Wall 7- #4 Closed Ties / Wall 36000 44000
SSW18 2- #4 Closed Ties / Anchor 4- #4 Closed Ties / Anchor 48000 61000
SSW21 59000 77000
SSW24 71000 87000
  1. Anchor reinforcement conforms to ACI 318-11, section D.5.2.9 and performance was validated through full scale testing.
  2. Minimum concrete compressive strength, f'c=2500 psi.
  3. Closed tie anchor reinforcement to be ASTM A615 Grade 60 (min.) #4 rebar.
  4. Grade beam longitudinal and tie reinforcement shall be specified by the registered design professional for flexure and shear loading. Design should consider project specific design loads and allowable soil pressure.
  5. Simpson Strong-Tie recommends using the tabulated minimum LRFD-applied seismic design moment to ensure grade-beam design flexure and shear strength is adequate to prevent plastic hinge formation under demands associated with anchorage forces corresponding to ACI 318-11, Section D.3.3.4.3.
  6. Designer may use reduced moment due to applied SSW lateral load. Minimum moment shall be the lesser of the tabulated moment or the amplified LRFD design moment for seismic: (ASD Shear/0.7) x Ωo x SSW height for grade beam design.
  7. Minimum grade beam design moment for wind and seismic in Seismic Design Category A and B and detached one- and two-family dwellings in SDC C: (ASD Shear/0.6) x SSW height.
  8. Closed tie may be single piece hoop or two piece assembly with a u-stirrup with 135 degree hooks and a top cross tie cap.
  9. Closed tie anchor reinforcement quantity is per wall for the 12" and 15" wall models, and per anchor for the 18", 21" and 24" models.

Catalog Pages:

Download C-L-SW14 (Strong-Wall Shearwalls), page 34 Download C-L-SW14 (Strong-Wall Shearwalls), page 74 Order Catalog By Mail