Light-frame timber shear walls have been used as load-bearing elements in buildings for several decades. To predict the performance of such structural elements under loading, numerous analytical and numerical models have been developed. However, little focus has been on the prediction of the plastic damage behaviour and unloading of the walls. In this paper, a parametric Finite Element (FE) model is further developed by introducing elasto-plastic connectors to simulate the mechanical behaviour of the sheathing-to-framing connections. To verify the accuracy of the elasto-plastic model, full-size walls were tested and compared with results from simulations. The numerical results, from a few loading cycles, indicate that the model achieves reasonable accuracy in predicting both the nonlinear elastic and plastic deformations. Both experimental and simulation results demonstrate the importance of opening locations relating to the external racking force. The results also indicate that for a double-layer wall, its racking strength can be achieved by summation of the separate contribution from each layer. Furthermore, the internal layer was observed to contribute significantly less than the external layer since its nail pattern was based on the sheathing pattern of the external layer.
Timber structures are currently more important for solving tasks in construction practice. For this reason, there is an opportunity for research in the area of physical tests and numerical models. This paper deals with the determination and comparison of the deformation properties of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels based on laboratory tests, analytical calculation and numerical modeling. CLT panels are structural building components consisting of cross-oriented solid timber layers. Three types of panels with different geometry and number of layers (three, five and seven) were experimentally tested using a four-point bending test, where load–deformation curves were recorded. The results of the experimental testing of the three-layer panels were subsequently compared with a numerical model in SCIA Engineer, a numerical model in ANSYS Workbench and an analytical calculation. The research shows a good agreement in bending behavior between the laboratory tests, the analytical calculation according to the standard and two different approaches in numerical analysis.
The fiber-reinforced polymer is one kind of composite material made of synthetic fiber and resin, which has attracted research interests for the reinforcement of timber elements. In this study, 18 glued-laminated (glulam) beams, unreinforced or reinforced with internally embedded carbon fiber–reinforced polymer (CFRP) sheets, were tested under four-point bending loads. For the reinforced glulam beams, the influences of the strengthening ratio, the modulus of elasticity of the CFRP, and the CFRP arrangement on their bending performance were experimentally investigated. Subsequently, a finite element model developed was verified with the experimental results; furthermore, a general theoretical model considering the typical tensile failure mode was employed to predict the bending–resisting capacities of the reinforced glulam beams. It is found that the reinforced glulam beams are featured with relatively ductile bending failure, compared to the brittle tensile failure of the unreinforced ones. Besides, the compressive properties of the uppermost grain of the glulam can be fully utilized in the CFRP-reinforced beams. For the beams with a 0.040% strengthening ratio, the bending–resisting capacity and the maximum deflection can be enhanced approximately by 6.51 and 12.02%, respectively. The difference between the experimental results and the numerical results and that between the experimental results and analytical results are within 20 and 10%, respectively.
The paper deals with the analysis of the load-carrying capacity of a timber semi-rigid connection created from a system of two stands and a rung. The connection was made from glued laminated timber with metal mechanical dowel-type fasteners. Not only a common combination of bolts and dowels, but also fully threaded screws were used for the connection. The aim of the research and its motivation was to replace these commonly used fasteners with more modern ones, to shorten and simplify the assembly time, and to improve the load-carrying capacity of this type of connection. Each of these two types of connections was loaded statically, with a slow increase in force until failure. The paper presents results of the experimental testing. Three specimens were made and tested for each type of the connection. Experimental results were subsequently compared with numerical models. The achieved results were also compared with the assumption according to the currently valid standard. The results indicate that a connection using fully threaded screws provides a better load-carrying capacity.
Engineered Wood Products like Cross-Laminated-Timber (CLT) are transforming capabilities of wood as a construction material, enabling architects and engineers to create innovative buildings. Using CLT can have many advantages compared with using traditional materials, not least of which is reducing total superstructure gravitational weights. Reducing gravitational weight can simplify and speed up construction processes and reduce foundation costs. Plus, being made from wood, CLT has desirable ‘green’ credentials like renewability of forest resources and carbon sequestration for the lifespans of buildings. However, like other lightweight structural systems, CLT buildings can be susceptible to high-amplitude motions during ambient or other dynamic force and displacement disturbances. Studies reported here address the dynamic behaviour of mid-rise multi-storey buildings constructed from massive CLT elements, with a focus on predicting lateral modal response characteristics of such buildings. The vehicle for this is detailed Finite Element (FE) models verified as accurate replicators of ambient dynamic motions of completed CLT buildings. Here applications of FE models relate to performances of buildings during seismic events. However, the intent is to also use them to predict motions of buildings during windstorms.
Many real-scale fire tests have been performed on timber connections to analyze the mechanical behavior of timber connections in previous years. However, little research focused on the bending performance of glued laminated (glulam) timber beam bolted connections after fire exposure. In this paper, the three-dimensional numerical model of the glulam timber beam bolted connections was developed and validated by experimental results. The model can simulate temperature evolution in the connections and their mechanical behavior. In the real-scale test, three (3) samples were prepared for a four-point bending test at normal temperature, while another three (3) samples were tested after exposure to a 30-min standard fire and cooled down to normal temperature. The results show the reduction of the load-carrying capacity before and after exposure to the standard fire by 23.9 kN (71.8%), 8.3 kN (26.1%), and 20.2 kN (47.6%) for bolt diameters of 12 mm, 16 mm, and 20 mm, respectively. The numerical model aims to conduct a parametric study and propose the modification of the exponential decay constant, k, for tropical glulam timber to predict the load-carrying capacity of the glulam timber beam bolted connections after exposure to standard fire.
In the design of timber structures, the mechanical resistance in fire conditions has to be ensured among others. In the European standards, Eurocodes, the reduced cross-section method is given to determine mechanical resistance of timber structural elements in fire conditions. The reduced cross-section method is based on an effective cross-section that is determined by two key parameters, namely the charring depth and the thickness of zero-strength layer where the latter accounts for the reductions of the stiffness and the strength of timber due to elevated temperatures. Although, the thickness of zero-strength layer of 7 mm is only prescribed for the ISO 834 standard fire exposure longer than 20 min in the Eurocodes, the same value is often used for non-standard fire exposures as well, which might not always be correct. Thus, in the present paper the thickness of zero-strength layer is investigated for a timber beam exposed to 44 different parametric fires by means of advanced numerical models and a simple design method. A hygro-thermal model and a mechanical model are applied to determine the temperature field over a timber beam cross-section and the mechanical resistance of the beam during fire exposure, respectively. The simple design method is based on the reduced cross-section method. The obtained results show that the thickness of zero-strength layer varies between 8.4 mm and 30.5 mm, which are substantially higher values than the value of 7 mm suggested in the Eurocodes for the standard fire exposure. The results also indicate that the thickness of zero-strength layer is not a constant value and should be written as a function of the parameters defining a parametric fire curve. Alternatively, the effective cross-section could be simply determined by finding the combined thickness of zero-strength layer and charring depth at temperature of about 90 °C.
Traditional wood-wood connections, widely used in the past, have been progressively replaced by steel fasteners and bonding processes in modern timber constructions. However, the emergence of digital fabrication and innovative engineered timber products have offered new design possibilities for wood-wood connections. The design-to-production workflow has evolved considerably over the last few decades, such that a large number of connections with various geometries can now be easily produced. These connections have become a cost-competitive alternative for the edgewise connection of thin timber panels. Several challenges remain in order to broaden the use of this specific joining technique into common timber construction practice: (1) prove the applicability at the building scale, (2) propose a standardized construction system, (3) develop a convenient calculation model for practice, and (4) investigate the mechanical behavior of wood-wood connections. The first building implementation of digitally produced through-tenon connections for a folded-plate structure is presented in this work. Specific computational tools for the design and manufacture of more than 300 different plates were efficiently applied in a multi-stakeholder project environment. Cross-laminated timber panels were investigated for the first time, and the potential of such connections was demonstrated for different engineered timber products. Moreover, this work demonstrated the feasibility of this construction system at the building scale. For a more resilient and locally distributed construction process, a standardized system using through-tenon connections and commonly available small panels was developed to reconstitute basic housing components. Based on a case-study with industry partners, the fabrication and assembly processes were validated with prototypes made of oriented strand board. Their structural performance was investigated by means of a numerical model and a comparison with glued and nailed assemblies. The results showed that through-tenon connections are a viable alternative to commonly used mechanical fasteners. So far, the structural analysis of such construction systems has been mainly achieved with complex finite element models, not in line with the simplicity of basic housing elements. A convenient calculation model for practice, which can capture the semi-rigid behavior of the connections and predict the effective bending stiffness, was thus introduced and subjected to large-scale bending tests. The proposed model was in good agreement with the experimental results, highlighting the importance of the connection behavior. The in-plane behavior of through-tenon connections for several timber panel materials was characterized through an experimental campaign to determine the load-carrying capacity and slip modulus required for calculation models. Based on the test results, existing guidelines were evaluated to safely apply these connections in structural elements while a finite element model was developed to approximate their performance. This work constitutes a firm basis for the optimization of design guidelines and the creation of an extensive database on digitally produced wood-wood connections. Finally, this thesis provides a convenient design framework for the newly developed standardized timber construction system and a solid foundation for research into digitally produced wood-wood connections.
Initially, timber was considered only as an easily accessible and processable material in nature; however, its excellent properties have since become better understood. During the discovery of new building materials and thanks to new technological development processes, industrial processing technologies and gradually drastically decreasing forest areas, wood has become an increasingly neglected material. Load-bearing structures are made mostly of reinforced concrete or steel elements. However, ecological changes, the obvious problems associated with environmental pollution and climate change, are drawing increasing attention to the importance of environmental awareness. These factors are attracting increased attention to wood as a building material. The increased demand for timber as a building material offers the possibility of improving its mechanical and physical properties, and so new wood-based composite materials or new joints of timber structures are being developed to ensure a better load capacity and stiffness of the structure. Therefore, this article deals with the improvement of the frame connection of the timber frame column and a diaphragm beam using mechanical fasteners. In common practice, bolts or a combination of bolts and pins are used for this type of connection. The subject of the research and its motivation was to replace these commonly used fasteners with more modern ones to shorten and simplify the assembly time and to improve the load capacity and rigidity of this type of frame connection.
The diaphragmatic behaviour of floors represents one important requirement for earthquake resistant buildings since diaphragms connect the lateral load resisting systems at each floor level and transfer the seismic forces to them as a function of their in-plane stiffness. This paper presents an innovative hybrid timber-steel solution for floor diaphragms developed by coupling cross-laminated timber panels with cold-formed custom-shaped steel beams. The floor consists of prefabricated repeatable units which are fastened on-site using pre-loaded bolts and self-tapping screws, thus ensuring a fast and efficient installation. An experimentally validated numerical model is used to evaluate the influence of the; i) in-plane floor stiffness; ii) aspect ratio and shape of the building plan; and iii) relative stiffness and disposition of the shear walls, on the load distribution to the shear walls. The load transfer into walls and lateral deformation of the construction system primarily depend on the adopted layouts of shear walls, and for most cases an in-plane stiffness of floors two times larger than that of walls is recommended.