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Shear hinges are modeled to account for inelastic shear behavior. Shear hinges are most useful when applied to link beams, which resist lateral load and do not support gravity load. When gravity load is present, users are recommended to replace distributed loading with equivalent loads concentrated at either element end.

Another recommendation is to avoid placing shear hinges at either end of a member. Only one shear hinge is necessary. Once a shear hinge begins yielding, capacity begins decreasing, and load is redistributed. If a second hinge then fails, the member will no longer be able to transfer lateral load applied between hinge locations. Gravity load must be carried during nonlinear analysis. CSI Software will stop analysis if gravity load cannot be redistributed.

When using shear hinges, please keep in mind that once shear capacity is exceeded, the model will not provide any further useful information. There is no sense in continuing with analysis since shear connections must be modified. Once shear capacity is increased, analysis may then proceed toward more ductile response mechanisms.