In order to design reinforced concrete (RC) structures in earthquake regions, it is necessary to understand the behavior of RC panel elements subjected to reversed cyclic loading. This paper reports the testing of 12 reinforced concrete panels subjected to reversed cyclic shear stresses. The tests were carried out to evaluate the effects of two main variables: (1) the orientation of steel bars, and (2) the percentage of steel reinforcement. The test results showed that both variables have strong effects on the shear stiffness, the shape of the hysteresis loop, the shear ductility, and the energy dissipation capacity of a panel. Thus it is possible to design shear-dominant structures that are strong, stiff, and yet ductile by controlling the orientation of the steel bars and the percentage of steel in a panel.
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