This paper deals with the conception and characterization of an innovative connection for cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. The connection is designed to provide an adequate level of dissipative capacity to CLT structures also when realized with large horizontal panels and therefore prone to fragile shear sliding failure. The connector, named X-bracket, has been theorized and designed by means of numerical parametric analyses. Furthermore, its cyclic behavior has been verified with experimental tests and compared to that of traditional connectors. Numerical simulations of cyclic tests of different CLT walls anchored to the foundation with X-brackets were also performed to assess their improved seismic performances. Finally, the analysis of the response of a 6 m × 3 m squat wall demonstrates that the developed connection provides good ductility and dissipation capacities also to shear walls realized with a single CLT panel.
Three innovative massive wooden shear-wall systems (Cross-Laminated-Glued Wall, Cross-Laminated-Stapled Wall, Layered Wall with dovetail inserts) were tested and their structural behaviour under seismic action was assessed with numerical simulations. The wall specimens differ mainly in the method used to assemble the layers of timber boards composing them. Quasi-static cyclic loading tests were carried out and then reproduced with a non-linear numerical model calibrated on the test results to estimate the most appropriate behaviour factor for each system. Non-linear dynamic simulations of 15 artificially generated seismic shocks showed that these systems have good dissipative capacity when correctly designed and that they can be assigned to the medium ductility class of Eurocode 8. This work also shows the influence of deformations in wooden panels and base connectors on the behaviour factor and dissipative capacity of the system.