Effects of diaphragm flexibility on the seismic design acceleration of precast concrete diaphragms

Dichuan Zhang, Robert B. Fleischman, Deuckhang Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A new seismic design methodology for precast concrete diaphragms has been developed and incorporated into the current American seismic design code. This design methodology recognizes that diaphragm inertial forces during earthquakes are highly influenced by higher dynamic vibration modes and incorporates the higher mode effect into the diaphragm seismic design acceleration determination using a first mode reduced method, which applies the response modification coefficient only to the first mode response but keeps the higher mode response unreduced. However the first mode reduced method does not consider effects of diaphragm flexibility, which plays an important role on the diaphragm seismic response especially for the precast concrete diaphragm. Therefore this paper investigated the effect of diaphragm flexibility on the diaphragm seismic design acceleration for precast concrete shear wall structures through parametric studies. Several design parameters were considered including number of stories, diaphragm geometries and stiffness. It was found that the diaphragm flexibility can change the structural dynamic properties and amplify the diaphragm acceleration during earthquakes. Design equations for mode contribution factors considering the diaphragm flexibility were first established through modal analyses to modify the first mode reduced method in the current code. The modified first mode reduced method has then been verified through nonlinear time history analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalComputers and Concrete
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Diaphragm flexibility
  • Modal analysis
  • Nonlinear time history analysis
  • Precast concrete diaphragm
  • Seismic design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of diaphragm flexibility on the seismic design acceleration of precast concrete diaphragms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this