Connections in mass timber structural systems dissipate energy and transfer lateral forces from mass timber elements such as shear walls and diaphragms, providing critical load paths. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a prominent mass timber material used to manufacture wall and floor assemblies. Fire performance research of CLT walls and floors has been abundant in recent years in an effort to address concerns about fires in tall wood buildings. Some fire-protected structural elements, including connections, may not be directly exposed to flames in a fire event but will experience elevated temperatures. There is limited research on elevated temperature performance of CLT connections, and consequentially a lack of full understanding of the fire performance of CLT structures. Therefore, a series of cyclic shear tests were conducted on a CLT wall-to-floor bracket connection assembly to characterize thermal degradation according to a matrix of 28 exposure duration-temperature combinations. The first study developed simple models to predict thermal degradation of two basic engineering parameters, peak strength and elastic stiffness. The second study used two different methods to develop force-displacement backbone models from the experimental hysteresis data. Results from both studies indicate significant thermal degradation of the connection performance at elevated temperatures ranging between 75 °C to 200 °C. This research is a step towards holistic evaluation of elevated temperature modeling of CLT structures.
Timber use is becoming more appealing in the recent years especially ‘exposed timber’; however, the information available on the performance of engineered timber after fire is limited. This paper explores the performance of timber elements exposed to well defined thermal boundary conditions and examines the extent of adhesive degradation after heating. Two different types of timber beams are explored; ‘glued laminated timber’ (Glulam) and ‘laminated veneer lumber’ (LVL). A subset of beams was exposed to radiant heat as per a modified ASTM E1321 heating procedure. An additional subset of beams also had an area of their cross-section carved away, equivalent to the char depth of the heated beams. The carved beams allow for the identification of degradation beyond the char layer, as theoretically both the carved and charred beams would have the same effective cross-sectional area. All beams were mechanically loaded to failure using a four-point loading setup. While the current allowance for degradation beyond the char layer is considered to be 7 mm for exposure times of 20 minutes and greater , the results herein indicate that for bending members this layer extends to at least a minimum of 11.7 mm for LVL and 12.3 mm for Glulam. The aim of this paper is to assess the post-fire performance of Glulam and LVL through looking at strength loss due to adhesive degradation, which may contribute towards enabling tall and unencapsulated engineered timber buildings.
Biological durability issues in cross-laminated timber (CLT) have been majorly ignored in North America because of the European origin of the material and careful construction practices in Europe. However, the risks of fungal and insect attacks are increased by the North American climatic conditions and lack of job-site measures to keep the material dry. The methods to evaluate durability in solid timber are inadequate for use in mass timber (MT) for a number of reasons, such as moisture variation and size being critical issues. This study therefore proposes a method, which is suitable to evaluate the strength of MT assemblies that are exposed to fungal degradation. The objective of the study was to explore a controlled method for assessing the effects of wetting and subsequent fungal attack on the behavior of CLT connections. Two different methods were used to create fungal attack on CLT assemblies. Although they were both successful, one was cumbersome, left room for many errors, and was not as efficient as the other. In addition, a standardized method to evaluate and characterize key performance metric for the connections is presented.
The role of the Building Envelope team in this project is to assess whether alternate wood-based building envelope solutions developed by the Fire Team to meet the fire provisions of NBC 2010, also meet NBC Part 5 requirements relating to the protection of the building envelope from long term degradation due to uncontrolled heat, air, moisture and precipitation (HAMP) ingress into the building envelope of mid-rise buildings.
In a process of consultations with stakeholders, including the Canadian Wood Council (CWC), FPInnovations, and consultations with NRC’s Fire and Acoustics teams, specifications were developed for 2.44 m x 2.44 m wall specimens that would be investigated for hygrothermal performance.
This paper presents the modeling of coupling effect of tension and shear loading on Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) connections using a finite element based algorithm called HYST. The model idealizes the connections as a “Pseudo Nail” - elastoplastic beam elements (the nail) surrounded by compression-only spring elements (steel sheath and wood embedment). A gap size factor and an unloading stiffness degradation index of the spring elements under cyclic loading were integrated into the optimized HYST algorithm to consider the coupling effect. The model was calibrated to compare with 32 configurations of CLT angle bracket and hold-down connections tests: in tension with co-existent constant shear force, and in shear with co-existent tension force. The results showed that the proposed model can fully capture the coupling effect of typical CLT connections, considering strength degradation, unloading and reloading stiffness degradation, and pinching effect. The model provided a useful tool for nailbased timber connections and a mechanism-based explanation to understand the hysteretic behaviour of CLT connections under bi-axial loading.
In this paper, an innovative type of mid-rise Cross Laminated Timber shear walls with coupling beams was designed. The 5-layer CLT panels were continuous along the height. Hold-downs and angle brackets were installed at the bottom of the panels. Coupling beams with energy dissipation devices were used to decrease the deformation and internal forces of the walls, providing adequate stiffness and strength. A numerical model was developed in OpenSees for a six storey prototype to investigate its seismic behaviour with different configurations. Strength degradation, stiffness degradation, and pinching effect were considered in the connection models. The structural performance was evaluated through a series of static and transient analyses. The simulation results indicated adequate lateral resistance and deformation capacity of this structural type. This study will lead to more application of large size CLT panels in multi-storey CLT buildings as lateral resistant systems.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) market demand is on the rise in the United States. Adequate protective measures have not been extensively studied. The objective of this study was to investigate the weathering performance of exterior wood coatings. We evaluated coated CLT sample surfaces based on visual appearance, color change (CIE*L*a*b), gloss changes, and water intrusion. From the five exterior wood coatings evaluated, only two showed adequate performance after twelve months field exposure. Based on visual ratings following the ASTM procedures, coating failure occurs more quickly in Mississippi than in Wisconsin, due to its greater decay zone. Both location and coating type impacted the aging of the samples. Artificial weathering results were consistent with natural weathering indicating the two adequate coatings were the most resistant to failure, color, and gloss change. For future studies, new coatings designed for the protection of end-grain in CLT panels should be a target of research and development.