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A pilot study was conducted at Penn State University to determine whether the type of
drywall joint compound would influence the shear strength of wood-frame stud
walls sheathed with Gypsum Wall Board (GWB or drywall). In this study, five
2438 mm by 2438 mm specimens were tested under in-plane cyclic racking loading
following the CUREE loading protocol for light-frame wall systems. Three specimens were finished using non-cement
based joint compound while the other two used cement based joint compound.
Based on the experimental testing of the specimens, the results show that the
use of cement based joint compound on drywall joints produces higher shear
capacity for the wall system as compared to similar specimens finished with
conventional non-cement based joint compound. The result of the study is
particularly important for high seismic regions where interior stud walls in
residential construction effectively take part in seismic resistance even
though wood shear walls are normally used on exterior walls.