Until today, all known timber building systems allow only slabs with a uniaxial load bearing action. Thereby, in comparison to normal reinforced concrete slabs, timber slabs are often thick, expensive and complicated to build. The reason for this is that there is no efficient connection technology to rigidly connect timber slab elements to each other. Alternative solutions are hybrid structural systems with concrete or steel, however, this combination of materials results in some disadvantages especially in terms of weight, ecology, construction time and costs. In the framework of a large research project a new timber slab system has been developed and already tested in first real applications. The developed slab system is designed for housing, commercial and industrial buildings. The slab system works as a flat slab carrying vertical loads biaxial and consists of timber slab elements like CLT glued together on site with a high performance butt-joint bonding technology. Research about the central slab element, the butt-joint bonding and fire tests have already been performed. The research showed the feasibility of this innovation. In 2015 a first prototype was built in Thun, Switzerland. A large three year research project started 2016 with the goal to reach market maturity.
Cross laminated timber (CLT) connections in shearwalls require an understanding of the shear strength and stiffness of panel-to-panel connections within the wall. This research measures the strength and stiffness of three different panel-to-panel CLT connections considering both monotonic and cyclic loading. Connections included a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) spline, a half-lap connection and a butt joint with overlapping steel plate. All connections were ductile in nature. The butt joint with steel plate demonstrated the highest connection strength of the connections tested. The cyclic stiffness of the laminated veneer lumber spline was less than the monotonic stiffness, while the halflap joint experienced a sharp drop in load after ultimate load was achieved. Full details of the monotonic and cyclic behaviour will be discussed, including load, stiffness and ductility terms.
This paper presents an experimental study to evaluate the use of spatially arranged self-tapping screws (STS) as shear connections for cross-laminated timber panels. Specifically, simple butt joints combined with crossed STS with different inclinations were investigated under quasi-static monotonic and reversed-cyclic loadings. The influence of the number and angle of insertion of screws, screws characteristics, friction and loading on the joint performance was explored. The yield load, load-carrying capacity and related slips, elastic stiffness, and ductility were evaluated considering two groups of tests performed on a total of 63 specimens of different size. Performance of connections with respect to the energy dissipation and loss of strength under cyclic loads was also investigated. It was shown that the spatial insertion angle of screws plays a key role in the performance of joints, not only because it relates to the shank to grain angle, but also because it affects the amount of wood involved in the bearing mechanism. Design models of STS connections are presented and discussed, and the test results are compared against analytical predictions. While good agreement for load-carrying capacity was obtained, the existing stiffness model seems less adequate with a consistent overestimation.