This project proposes a timber-based composite floor that can span 12 m and be used in the construction of 40+ story office buildings. This floor system integrates timber panels and timber beams to form a continuous box girder structure. The timber panels function as the flanges and the timber beams as the web. The beams are spaced and connected to the flange panels so that sufficient bending stiffness of a 12 m span can be achieved via the development of composite action.
The current phase of this project studied the performance of the connections between timber elements in the proposed composite member. Six types of connections using different flange material and connection techniques were tested: Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL), Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), and Post Laminated Veneer Lumber (PLVL). Glulam was used as the web. The majority of the connections used self-tapping wood screws except one had notches. The load-carrying capacity, stiffness, and ductility of the connections were measured. The stiffness of CLT, LSL, and PLVL connections was in the same range, 19-20 kN/mm per screw. Amongst the three, LSL had the highest peak load and PLVL had the highest proportional limit. The stiffness of the two LVL screw connections was around 13 kN/mm. The notched LVL connection had significantly higher stiffness than the rest, and its peak load was in the same range as LSL, but the failure was brittle.
LVL was used to manufacture the full scale timber composite floor element. With a spacing of 400 mm, the overall stiffness reached 33689 N
mm2×109, which was 2.5 times the combined stiffness of two Glulam beams. The predicted overall stiffness based on Gamma method was within 5% of the tested value, and the estimated degree of composite action was 68%. From both the test results and analytical modeling, the number of screws may be further reduced to 50% or less of the current amount, while maintaining a high level of stiffness.
Future work includes testing the composite floor under different screw spacings,
investigating the effect of concrete topping, and the connections between floor members
and other structural elements.
This thesis studies the behaviour of diaphragms in multi-storey timber buildings by providing methods for the estimation of the diaphragm force demand, developing an Equivalent Truss Method for the analysis of timber diaphragms, and experimentally investigating the effects of displacement incompatibilities between the diaphragm and the lateral load resisting system and developing methods for their mitigation.
Although shortcomings in the estimation of force demand, and in the analysis and design of concrete floor diaphragms have already been partially addressed by other researchers, the behaviour of diaphragms in modern multi-storey timber buildings in general, and in low damage Pres-Lam buildings (consisting of post-tensioned timber members) in particular is still unknown.
The analysis of light timber framing and massive timber diaphragms can be successfully analysed with an Equivalent Truss Method, which is calibrated by accounting for the panel shear and fastener stiffnesses. Finally, displacement incompatibilities in frame and wall structures can be accommodated by the flexibilities of the diaphragm panels and relative connections. A design recommendations chapter summarizes all findings and allows a designer to estimate diaphragm forces, to analyse the force path in timber diaphragms and to detail the connections to allow for displacement incompatibilities in multi-storey timber buildings.
This research investigated the fire performance of unprotected timber floors, focussing on composite joist floors, composite box floors and timber-concrete composite floors. The study of these floors was conducted using the finite element software ABAQUS using a thermo-stress analysis in three dimensions, and with experimental fire tests of floor assemblies. The major goal of this research was to develop a simplified design approach for timber floors, validated against the numerical and experimental work.
Four furnace tests were conducted on unprotected timber floor systems in the full-scale furnace at the BRANZ facilities in New Zealand. A sequentially coupled thermal-stress analysis was conducted to determine the effects of a fire on floor assemblies under load. The thermal modelling predicted the charring damage of the floors tested in the experiments to within a few millimetres of precision, and the simplified assumptions made in relation to fire inputs, boundary conditions, mesh refinement and effective material parameters were accurate to the desired level of precision. A sensitivity study was conducted comparing different mesh sizes, time step sizes, material model approaches and software suites to determine any shortfalls which may be encountered in the analysis. It was found that a material model adopting a latent heat approach was the most adequate for modelling timber in fires using these effective values, and mesh sizes of up to 6 mm produced relatively precise results.
The structural modelling predicted the displacement response and failure times of the floors to within 20% of the experimental data, and the simplified assumptions made in relation to fire inputs, boundary conditions, mesh refinement and effective material properties were once again accurate to the desired level of precision. A modification to the reduction in tension strength at elevated temperatures was proposed to better predict the observed behaviour. A sensitivity study concluded that the material model definition plays a vital role in the output of the modelling. Non-standard fire exposures were also modelled for completeness.
A simplified design method to estimate the fire resistance of unprotected floor assemblies was also developed. The method uses a bi-linear charring rate the assumption of a zero strength layer in the timber. The method was compared to the experimental data from this research and others around the world. The results were also compared to other charring rate methodologies from around the world.
The latest developments in seismic design philosophy have been geared towards developing of so called "resilient" or "low damage" innovative structural systems that can reduce damage to the structure while offering the same or higher levels of safety to occupants. One such innovative structural system is the Pres-Lam system that is a wood-hybrid system that utilizes post-tensioned (PT) mass timber components in both rigid-frame and wall-based buildings along with various types of energy disspators. To help implement the Pres-Lam system in Canada and the US, information about the system performance made with North American engineered wood products is needed. That information can later be used to develop design guidelines for the designers for wider acceptance of the system by the design community.Several components influence the performance of the Pres-Lam systems: the load-deformation properties of the engineered wood products under compression, load-deformation and energy dissipation properties of the dissipators used, placement of the dissipators in the system, and the level of post-tensioning force. The influence of all these components on the performance of Pres-Lam wall systems under gravity and lateral loads was investigated in this research project. The research project consisted of two main parts: material tests and system tests.
Auburn University’s (AU) School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) in Alabama actively works to increase awareness of the benefits of CLT along with hybrid systems for more widespread adoption in multiple building segments. AU’s two-year project proposal outlines a plan that will establish a preliminary design for the usage of a timber-steel composite system, utilizing CLT or laminated veneer lumber (LVL), as an option that will replace reinforced concrete slabs to improve the structural performance for buildings six stories or more.
FPInnovations carried out a survey with consultants and researchers on the use of analytical models and software packages related to the analysis and design of mass timber buildings. The responses confirmed that a lack of suitable models and related information for material properties of timber connections was creating an impediment to the design and construction of this type of buildings. Furthermore, there is currently a lack of computer models and expertise for carrying out performance-based design for wood buildings, in particular seismic and/or fire performance design.
In this study, a sophisticated constitutive model for wood-based composite material under stress and temperature was developed. This constitutive model was programmed into a user-subroutine which can be added to most general-purpose finite element software. The developed model was validated with test results of a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beam and glulam bolted connection under force and/or fire.