The use of timber–concrete composite (TCC) bridges in the United States dates back to approximately 1924 when the first bridge was constructed. Since then a large number of bridges have been built, of which more than 1,400 remain in service. The oldest bridges still in service are now more than 84 years old and predominately consist of two different TCC systems. The first system is a slab-type system that includes a longitudinal nail-laminated deck composite with a concrete deck top layer. The second system is a stringer system that includes either sawn timber or glulam stringers supporting a concrete deck top layer. The records indicate that most of the TCC highway bridges were constructed during the period of 1930–1960. The study presented in this paper discusses the experience and per-formance of these bridge systems in the US. The analysis is based on a review of the relevant literature and databases complemented with field inspections conducted within various research projects. Along with this review, a historical overview of the codes and guidelines available for the design of TCC bridges in the US is also included. The analysis undertaken showed that TCC bridges are an effective and durable design alternative for highway bridges once they have shown a high performance level, in some situations after more than 80 years in service with a low maintenance level.
Strength parameters for fasteners determined in accordance with the methods prescribed for the European CE-marking leads to quite different values for seemingly similar products from different manufactures. The results are hardly repeatable, to some extent due to difficulties in selecting representative timber samples for the testing. Beside this uncertainty, the declared values available to the designer concerns only structural timber, so no strength parameters are available for common engineered wood products such as LVL or plywood
The growing diffusion of cross-laminated timber structures (CLT) has been accompanied by extensive research on the peculiar characteristics of this construction system, mainly concerning its economic and environmental benefits, lifecycle, structural design, resistance to seismic actions, fire protection, and energy efficiency. Nevertheless, some aspects have not yet been fully analysed. These include both the knowledge of noise protection that CLT systems are able to offer in relation to the possible applications and combinations of building elements, and the definition of calculation methods necessary to support the acoustic design. This review focuses on the main acoustic features of CLT systems and investigate on the results of the most relevant research aimed to provide key information on the application of acoustic modelling in CLT buildings. The vibro-acoustic behaviour of the basic component of this system and their interaction through the joints has been addressed, as well as the possible ways to manage acoustic information for calculation accuracy improvement by calibration with data from on-site measurements during the construction phase. This study further suggests the opportunity to improve measurement standards with specific reference curves for the bare CLT building elements, in order to compare different acoustic linings and assemblies on the same base. In addition, this study allows to identify some topics in the literature that are not yet fully clarified, providing some insights on possible future developments in research and for the optimization of these products.
Acoustic emission (AE) characteristics of full-hole bolt-bearing testing on structural compositelumbers (SCL) including laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and oriented strand lumber (OSL) were investigated. The main conclusion is that AE cumulative counts vs time curves of the tested SCL in this study can be characterized with three distinct regions in terms of AE count rates: Region I with a lower constant count rate, Region II with varied and increased count rates, and Region III with a higher constant count rate. Differences in AE count rates of these three regions occurred between LVL and OSL. Also, within each tested SCL, differences in AE count rates were observed among the three regions. These differences in terms of AE count rates between two tested SCL indicate that different types of wood-based composites might have different AE characteristics in terms of the count rate changes when they are subjected to increased bolt compression load. In other words, these differences in AE characteristics between the two tested materials suggest AE “signatures” do exist for SCL bolt connections.
Delamination and decay are common structural defects in old glued laminated timber (glulam) buildings, which, if left undetected, could cause severe structural damage. This paper presents a new damage detection method for glulam inspection based on moment analysis and wavelet transform (WT) of impact acoustic signals. Acoustic signals were collected from a glulam arch section removed from service through impact testing at various locations. The presence and positions of internal defects were preliminarily determined by applying time centroid and frequency centroid of the first moment. Acoustic signals were then decomposed by wavelet packet transform (WPT) and the energy of the sub-bands was calculated as characteristics of the response signals. The sub-bands of 0–375 Hz and 375–750 Hz were identified as the most discriminative features that are associated with decay and delamination and therefore are indicative of the presence of delamination or decay defects. A defect diagnosis algorithm was tested for its ability to identify internal decay and delamination in glulam. The results show that depth of delamination in a glulam member can be determined with reasonable accuracy.
A major problem in light-weight timber floors is their insufficient performance coping with impact noise in low frequencies. There are no prefabricated solutions available in Australia and New Zealand. To rectify this and enable the implementation of light-weight timber floors, a structural floor was designed and built in laminated veneer lumber (LVL). The floor was evaluated in a laboratory setting based on its behaviour and then modified with suspended ceilings and different floor toppings. Twenty-nine different floor compositions were tested. The bare floor could not reach the minimum requirement set by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) but with additional layers, a sufficient result of R'w+Ctr 53 dB and L’nT,w + CI 50 dB was reached. Doubling of the concrete mass added a marginal improvement. With concrete toppings and suspended ceiling it is possible to reach the goal in airborne and impact sound insulation. The best result was achieved by combining of additional mass and different construction layers.