Cyclic behavior of reinforced concrete cladding panels connected with energy dissipative steel cushions
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Precast concrete structures show damage after the destructive earthquakes and indicate that the connections of reinforced concrete (RC) cladding panels might be inadequate. RC cladding panels greatly increase the lateral stiffness and strength of the building when they are rigidly connected to the structural system. However, this also increases the seismic requirements. Consequently, a robust mechanical connection device with energy-dissipating capability was produced for RC cladding panels. Extensive experimental and numerical studies on an energy-dissipative steel cushion (SC) connection device were carried out in the framework of the SAFECLADDING project. Cladding panel tests were conducted with various connection configurations. The fundamental variables are the location, quantity, and thickness of SCs used in the cladding systems. The test results demonstrate that the SCs used in panel-to-panel and panel-to-support connections made large contributions to the total energy dissipation capacity. The parameters of a numerical model were also evaluated to reproduce the experimental results.