As part of its research work on wood buildings, FPInnovations has recently launched a Design Guide for Timber-Concrete Composite Floors in Canada. This technique, far from being new, could prove to be a cost-competitive solution for floors with longer-span since the mechanical properties of the two materials act in complementarity. Timber-concrete systems consist of two distinct layers, a timber layer and a concrete layer (on top), joined together by shear connectors. The properties of both materials are then better exploited since tension forces from bending are mainly resisted by the timber, while compression forces from bending are resisted by the concrete. This guide, which contains numerous illustrations and formulas to help users better plan their projects, addresses many aspects of the design of timber-concrete composite floors, for example shear connection systems, ultimate limit state design, vibration and fire resistance of floors, and much more.
Nationwide, bridges are deteriorating at a rate faster than they can be rehabilitated and maintained. This has resulted in a search for new methods to rehabilitate, repair, manage, and construct bridges. As a result, structural health monitoring and smart structure concepts have emerged to help improve bridge management. In the case of timber bridges, however, a limited amount of research as been conducted on long-term structural health monitoring solutions, and this is especially true in regards to historic covered timber bridges. To date, evaluation efforts of timber bridges have focused primarily on visual inspection data to determine the structural integrity of timber structures. To fill this research need and help improve timber bridge inspection and management strategies, a 5-year research plan to develop a smart timber bridge structure was undertaken. The overall goal of the 5-year plan was to develop a turnkey system to analyze, monitor, and report on the performance and condition of timber bridges. This report outlines one phase of the 5-year research plan and focuses on developing and attaching moisture sensors onto timber bridge components. The goal was to investigate the potential for sensor technologies to reliably monitor the in situ moisture content of the timber members in historic covered bridges, especially those recently rehabilitated with glulam materials. The timber-specific moisture sensors detailed in this report and the data collected from them will assist in advancing the smart timber bridge.
An innovative concept for a modular timber concrete composite system for short span highway bridges has been designed and key components experimentally validated. The proposed system consists of a Ultra-High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete(UHPFRC) deck and glue-laminated timer (glulam) girders linked to act compositely together by reinforcing steel bar shear connectors. This composite system has light, stable modules that can be rapidly constructed on site with less special equipment. Simple design checks indicate that the concept satisfies all serviceability limit state(SLS) and ultimate limit state(ULS) requirements of the Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code. Pull-out tests characterized the embedment lengths of 20M steel bar connectors to be 10 bar-diameters in UHPFRC. Push-off tests determined the embedment lengths of the same bars to be 30 bar-diameters glued into the timber girders. The slip modulus of the connectors is determined to be 67 kN/mm. The stiffness of the crosswise self-tapping screw connectors were tested and found to be structurally insignificant in this application. The excellent tensile and cracking properties of the reinforced UHPFRC deck was experimentally verified. A small amount of reinforcement would further improve the ductility of the UPHFRC deck system.