This paper describes a series of three full-scale furnace tests on post-tensioned LVL box beams loaded with vertical loads, and presents a proposed fire design method for post-tensioned timber members. The design method is adapted from the calculation methods given in Eurocode 5 and NZS:3603 which includes the effects of changing geometry and several failure mechanisms specific to post-tensioned timber. The design procedures include an estimation of the heating of the tendons within the timber cavities, and relaxation of post-tensioning forces. Additionally, comparisons of the designs and assumptions used in the proposed fire design method and the results of the full-scale furnace tests are made. The experimental investigation and development of a design method have shown several areas which need to be addressed. It is important to calculate shear stresses in the timber section, as shear is much more likely to govern compared to solid timber. The investigation has shown that whilst tensile failures are less likely to govern the fire design of post-tensioned timber members, due to the axial compression of the post-tensioning, tensile stresses must still be calculated due to the changing centroid of the members as the fire progresses. Research has also highlighted the importance of monitoring additional deflections and moments caused by the high level of axial loads.
The focus of this research was to investigate the fire performance of post-tensioned timber beams. This was completed through a series of full-scale furnace tests, and the development of a fire resistance design method. Previous research has focused on the seismic performance and gravity frame performance of post-tensioned timber, both of which yielded promising results. There is however a commonly perceived increase in fire risk with timber building, particularly multi-storey timber buildings, and the fire performance of post-tensioned timber had not previously been investigated.
The rising popularity of engineered-wood products, such as glued-laminated timber (glulam), as analternative to traditional sawn lumber encourages to fabricate glulam built-up sections that can expand the horizon of the use of this sustainable material in the construction of mid- and high-rise timber buildings. As a pilot investigation into the subject, five full-size built-up glulam box-section beam assemblies were experimentally examined under four-point flexural bending. Self-tapping screws were used in different patterns to form three beam assembly configurations. Each beam built-up section was made of four glulam panels, each of 44-mm thickness except the bottom flange panel that had 86-mm thickness. Experimental testing showed that reducing the spacing from 800 mm to 200 mm of the screws connecting the built-up section’s top and bottom flange panels to the web panels increased the beam flexural bending strength by about 45%. While reducing the spacing from 200 mm to 100 mm only for the screws connecting the bottom flange to the web panels over a distance equal to one-third beam span length from each support, where the maximum shear stresses existed, increased the beam flexural bending strength by an additional 10%.
Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) and box beam are efficient and economical engineered wood products. Although NLT has been used in North America for more than a century, only in recent years it has gained renewed interests as they have been seen as the most economical panel products used in mass timber buildings. Box beams, on the other hand, are lightweight and generally possess higher strength and stiffness than comparable-sized solid timber and are more efficient than solid timber large spans and loads.
In this report, existing design provisions and their limitations for the design and construction of NLT in box beam in Canadian standards are reviewed. For NLT, there is a general lack of information related to manufacturing, design and construction to ensure consistent manufacturing and installation practices. Therefore, it is difficult to research and document with confidence the full range of performance that can be achieved with NLT. It is therefore recommended that a North American product standard and design information on structural performance, floor vibration, fire resistance, acoustic performance, and construction risk mitigation measures (e.g. moisture and fire) be developed.
In CSA 086, design methods are limited to box beams with flanges and webs bonded with glue. As the flanges and webs of a box beam can be assembled by either glue or mechanical fasteners, it is recommended that design provisions for box beam with mechanical joints be also developed. With the information in Eurocode 5 and relevant supporting research papers, it is ready to be implemented.
This paper outlines a series of experimental tests of LVL box beams designed to fail in shear. Some beams utilised post-tensioning systems to increase the flexural strength and decrease deflection. Fire conditions were simulated using either an ISO 834 furnace test or by mechanically reducing the section dimensions on three-sides of the beam to replicate charring. Comparisons with a simplified calculation method for the fire performance of post-tensioned timber box beams are made and discussed. This paper gives special focus to the shear performance of LVL box beams because previous research had identified that the inclusion of post-tensioning may increase the likelihood of shear failure occurring in LVL box beams, especially in fire conditions.