In the present paper, the influence of periodic gaps between lamellas of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) on the panel’s elastic behavior is analyzed by means of a periodic homogenization scheme for thick plates having periodic geometry. Both small gaps, due to the fabrication process of not-gluing lateral lamellas, and wider gaps are investigated. The results obtained with the periodic homogenization scheme are compared to existing closed-form solutions and available experimental data. It appears that the plate bending stiffness can be well predicted with both homogenization and simplified methods, while only the homogenization approach is in agreement with the experimental in-plane and out-of-plane shear behavior. The influence of several properties of CLT lay-up on the mechanical response is pointed out as well.
In this paper, the linear buckling of a heterogeneous thick plate is studied using the Bending–Gradient theory which is an extension of the Reissner–Mindlin plate theory to the case of heterogeneous plates. Reference results are taken from a 3D numerical analysis using finite-elements and applied to Cross Laminated Timber panels which are thick and highly anisotropic laminates. First, it is shown that critical buckling loads are close to the material failure load which proves the necessity of a design model for the buckling of Cross Laminated Timber panels. Second, the soft simple support boundary condition is introduced as an opposition to the conventional hard simple support condition. It is shown that this distinction could be taken into account for designing timber structures depending on the accuracy needed. Third, it is observed that for varying plate geometries and arrangements, the Bending–Gradient theory predicts more precisely the critical load of CLT panels than classical lamination and first-order shear deformation theories. Finally, it is demonstrated that one of the suggested projections of the Bending–Gradient on a Reissner–Mindlin model gives very accurate results and could favorably allow the development of engineering recommendations for estimating properly transverse shear effects.
Cross laminated timber (CLT), as a structural plate-like timber product, has been established as a load bearing product for walls, floor and roof elements. In a bending situation due to the transverse shear flexibility of the crossing layers, the warping of the cross section follows a zigzag pattern which should be considered in the calculation model. The Refined Zigzag Theory (RZT) can fulfill this requirement in a very simple and efficient way. The RZT, founded in 2007 by A. Tessler (NASA Langley Research Center), M. Di Sciuva and M. Gherlone (Politecnico Torino) is a very robust and accurate analysis tool, which can handle the typical zigag warping of the cross section by introducing only one additional kinematic degree of freedom in case of plane beams and two more in case of biaxial bending of plates. Thus, the RZT-kinematics is able to reflect the specific and local stress behaviour near concentrated loads in combination with a warping constraint, while most other theories do not. A comparison is made with different methods of calculation, as the modified Gamma-method, the Shear Analogy method (SA) and the First Order Shear Deformation Theory (FSDT). For a test example of a two-span continuous beam, an error estimation concerning the maximum bending stress is presented depending on the slenderness L/h and the width of contact area at the intermediate support. A stability investigation shows that FSDT provides sufficiently accurate results if the ratio of bending and shear stiffness is in a range as stated in the test example. It is shown that by a simple modification in the determination of the zigzag function, the scope can be extended to beams with arbitrary non-rectangular cross section. This generalization step considerably improves the possibilities for the application of RZT. Furthermore, beam structures with interlayer slip can easily be treated. So the RZT is very well suited to analyze all kinds, of shear-elastic structural element like CLT-plate, timber-concrete composite structure or doweled beam in an accurate and unified way.
Cross laminated timber (CLT) is leading the evolution of wood construction throughout the world. As atwo-dimensional plate-like construction product, the in-plane elastic constants of CLT panels are the fundamental parameters for serviceability design. The elastic constants including moduli of elasticity (MOE) in major and minor strength direction ( and y) and in-plane shear modulus ( xy) of full-size CLT panels with different dimensions and layups from three CLT producers were measured by a non-destructive test (NDT) method developed by the first author. In total, 51 CLT panels were tested with most of the testing conducted at CLT mills. The measured values were used to examine the existing effective stiffness prediction models of CLT. Results show that k-method can be used for predicting and y values of industrial size CLT with a large length/ width to thickness ratio. xy cannot be well predicted by k-method and is greatly affected by edge bonding and gaps. Gamma method and shear analogy method can include the effect of transverse shear to different extents into account in predicting apparent or y. Shear analogy method appears to predict closer apparent to the measured values than gamma method for CLT with small length to thickness ratio. However, the effect of transverse shear on apparent y is not as much as predicted by shear analogy method for CLT panels with width from 1 to 3 meters. NDT by modal testing was proven to be an efficient mechanical property evaluation method for full-size CLT panels.
A regular alternation of lamellas and voids filled by insulating material within each layer of CLT can lead to cellular panels with improved acoustical, thermal and fire performance. In order to support the development of these innovative and lighter engineered wood products, their mechanical behavior is investigated in this paper by means of experiments and modeling. First, an experimental campaign on spaced CLT panels and related results are presented. Then, both simplified and refined modelings are applied. The chosen accurate modeling is a periodic homogenization scheme handled by a plate theory  and based on unit-cell strain energy computation with FEM. It appears that the simplified approach can predict the bending stiffness (EI) of CLT panels with large voids but not their transverse shear stiffness (GA) which can be precisely predicted with the more refined modeling. Finally, the influence of several panel’s parameters on the mechanical response is pointed out as well.
Self-tapping screws (STS) have been proclaimed as the easiest solution for structural timber connections, in special for cross laminated timber (CLT) constructions. In order to understand deeply the composite model “CLT-STS”, an experimental campaign which comprised 270 withdrawal tests was carried out. Maximum withdrawal load capacity of self-tapping screws inserted in plane side of a three layered CLT panel was evaluated considering three main parameters: moisture levels of CLT (i), number of gaps (ii) and the width of gaps (iii). Regarding (i), connections were tested with CLT at 8%, 12% and 18% of moisture content. Concerning (ii) and (iii), different test configurations with 1, 2 and 3 gaps, with 0 or 4mm, were tested. The influences of moisture content and number of gaps were modeled. Further a correlation between test results and a prediction model developed by Uibel and Blaß (2007) has been proposed.
Cross laminated timber (CLT) has the potential to play a major role in timber construction as floor and wall systems. In order to meet specific design needs and to make the use of CLT more effective, property evaluation of individual CLT panels is desirable. Static tests are time-consuming and therefore costly, and for massive products such as CLT practically impossible to implement. Modal testing offers a fast and more practical tool for the property evaluation of CLT and timber panels in general. This paper presents a comparison of different boundary conditions in modal testing in terms of accuracy, calculation effort and practicality. Single-layer timber panels as well as scaled CLT panels were fabricated. Three elastic properties of the panels were evaluated using modal testing methods with different boundary conditions (BCs). The results were compared with results from static test.
An investigation was carried out on CLT panels made from Sitka spruce in order to establish the effect of the thickness of CLT panels on the bending stiffness and strength and the rolling shear. Bending and shear tests on 3-layer and 5-layer panels were performed with loading in the out-of-plane and in-plane directions. ‘Global’ stiffness measurements were found to correlate well with theoretical values. Based on the results, there was a general tendency that both the bending strength and rolling shear decreased with panel thickness. Mean values for rolling shear ranged from 1.0 N/mm2 to 2.0 N/mm2.