Light Shear Wall Loading Facility

The Light Shear Wall Loading Facility in the BCERL Lab is equipped with a lateral loading frame capable of applying in-plane monotonic, static and cyclic loading up to a capacity of 100 kips to light shear walls. The main use of this facility is to test shear wall systems and building components under in-plane shear loading, based on different protocols or standards including ASTM E 72, ASTM E 560, and ASTM E 2126. This facility consists of a large steel reaction frame and a 100 kip electrohydraulic actuator mounted on the facility. The facility is capable of testing wall mockups up to 12 ft in height and 16 ft in length. This facility meets the requirements to conduct ASTM standard tests, but also goes well beyond those requirements through supplemental application of sensors. Displacement, strain, rotation, pressure, and temperature sensors are routinely used with the facility for real-time tracking of the serviceability of the system under test. These sensors are strategically placed to understand how components behave during testing and to support the development of models to predict the behavior of systems.

Testing Capabilities

  • In-plane shear loading of Structural Insulated Panels and other light-frame systems
  • Monotonic and cyclic loading of various SIP and light-frame wall types
  • Lateral load testing of various metal panels, with or without insulation
  • Lateral load testing of light steel framing systems
  • Lateral load testing of prefabricated panel systems

Light Shear Wall Loading Diagram

Light Shear Wall Loading Facility


The Pennsylvania Housing Research Center serves the home building industry and the residents of Pennsylvania by improving the quality and affordability of housing.

We conduct applied research, foster the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, and transfer appropriate technologies to the housing community.

Pennsylvania Housing Research Center

219 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2341

Fax: 814-863-7304