This paper presents an experimental study on ductility and overstrength of dowelled connections. Connection ductility and overstrength derived from monotonic testing are often used in timber connection design in the context of seismic loading, based on the assumption that these properties are similar under monotonic and cyclic loading. This assumption could possibly lead to non-conservative connection design. Therefore, it is necessary to quantify ductility and overstrength for cyclic loading and contrast them with their monotonic performance. For this purpose, monotonic and quasi-static cyclic experimental tests were performed on dowelled LVL and CLT connections. The experimental results were also compared with strength predictions from state-of-the-art analytical models in literature that were verified for ductile and brittle failure under monotonic loading. This work also allowed investigation into a generally applicable overstrength factor for push-pull loaded dowelled connections.
In this study, five full-scale bolted glulam beam-to-beam connections with slotted-in steel plates were conducted under a third-point loading, and a three-dimensional finite element method based model was also established to investigate the failure modes and moment resistance of such connections. A material model based on the Continuum Damage Mechanics (CDM) theory was developed to predict damage evolution of wood. Different damage variables were used to consider the ductile and brittle failure modes of wood, respectively. The test results indicated that splitting and shear plug failures were the main failure modes. The numerical analysis model prediction achieved fair agreements with the test results. The research could provide the guide for the design of bolted beam-to-column connections in heavy timber structures.
This paper presents an experimental and analytical investigation on the application of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) made of European beech wood (fagus sylvatica L.) in timber truss structures. Particular focus is laid on developing improved design approaches for dowel-type connections and on promoting ductile failure behaviour, as the connections in timber trusses are generally governing the performance of the whole structure. Embedment tests were carried out in order to assess the embedment strength values for beech LVL, which are necessary to design dowel-type connections. The results showed higher values for beech LVL, as compared to estimations using existing formulas from design codes. A series of tensile connection tests showed that, using cross-layered beech LVL, ductile dowel-type connections with high load-carrying capacities can be designed, given that premature brittle failures are prevented. Lastly, tests on full truss structures confirmed that the favourable behaviour of dowel-type connections in cross-layered beech LVL can be implemented in truss systems, improving the global behaviour of the whole structural element.