New research on panel connections for internal partition walls designed to withstand earthquakes

30 May 2022

It is important that the design and detailing of the panel-to-structure connections ensure that their strength and displacement capacity are adequate to meet the corresponding seismic demands, at least during design level earthquakes says UC PhD successor Dr Jitendra Bhatta.

  • Jitendra Bhata

    Jitendra is currently working at BECA as a building seismic restraint engineer.

The giant SEL lab is used for shake testing.

The main focus of Jitendra's research is the development of seismically resilient drift sensitive NSEs: precast concrete cladding panels and internal partition walls. Even though most precast concrete cladding panels performed well from a life-safety point of view during recent earthquakes in NZ, some collapsed panels posed a significant threat to life safety. It is, therefore, important that the design and detailing of the panel-to-structure connections ensure that their strength and displacement capacity are adequate to meet the corresponding seismic demands, at least during design level earthquakes. In contrast, the partition wall is likely to get damaged and lose serviceability at a low inter-story drift unless designed to accommodate the relative deformations between them and the structure. Partition walls suffered wide-ranging damage such as screw failures, diagonal cracking, detachments to the gypsum linings, and anchorage failures during the 2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence in NZ. The experimental results have confirmed that the implementation of the proposed low damage solutions of precast cladding panels and internal partition walls can significantly reduce their damage in a building.

"I am very lucky in having the opportunity to undertake a PhD at the University of Canterbury with Prof. Rajesh Dhakal and Prof. Timothy Sullivan as my supervisors. My PhD experience has been amazing and inspiring, which included stressful learning curves, studying great literature, working in an engineering laboratory, meeting great people and a significant amount of personal development" says Jitendra.

"Now, I want to explore the industry and design seismically resilient structures while employing the learnings from my PhD."

View his video https://youtu.be/mkWEO77QtZU

Thesis Title: Development and verification of seismically resilient drift-sensitive non-structural elements in buildings.

Published articles:

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13632469.2020.1830201
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13632469.2022.2033359
  3. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13632469.2022.2074918
  4. https://bulletin.nzsee.org.nz/index.php/bnzsee/article/view/1473

 https://www.linkedin.com/in/g10bhatta

Media contact:

  • Email: media@canterbury.ac.nz Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168
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