The amount of energy dissipated during an earthquake depends on the type of failure of the concrete element. Shear failure should be avoided because less energy is spent than that due to bending failure. Compression controlled failure is usually avoided by increasing the thickness of a wall. Considering that the current code largely decreases this strength, this becomes hard to achieve in practice. Because of that, the analysis described in this paper is made to determine the reason for a large strength reduction at high curvatures. Mechanisms contributing to compression controlled shear strength are analysed. Using Rankine’s strength theorem, section equilibrium, arch mechanism and bending moment-curvature diagrams, the influence of different parameters are observed and charted. The findings are compared to the existing procedures and a new, simple and safe analytical equation is derived. Compression controlled shear strength is mainly influenced by axial force, followed by the amount of longitudinal reinforcement and the achieved confinement. Results show that the value of strength reduces significantly with the increase of ductility and that some reduction exists even for lower levels of curvature. Current code provisions may lead to unsafe design, so designers should be careful when dealing with potentially critical walls.
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