This thesis fills the existing knowledge gap between detailed design and global behaviour of hybrid systems through an experimental study on an innovative timber-steel hybrid system called “FFTT”. The FFTT system relies on wall panels of mass timber such as CLT for gravity and lateral load resistance and embedded steel sections for ductility under the earthquake loads. An important step towards the practical application of the FFTT system is obtaining the proof that the connections facilitate the desired ductile failure mode. The experimental investigation was carried out at the facility of FPInnovations, Vancouver. The testing program consisted of quasi-static monotonic and reverse cyclic tests on the timber-steel hybrid system with different configurations. The two beam profiles, wide flange I-sections and hollow rectangular sections were tested. The interaction between the steel beams and CLT panels and the effect of the embedment depth, cross-section reduction and embedment length were closely examined. The study demonstrated that when using an appropriate steel section, the desired ‘Strong Column–Weak Beam’ failure mechanism was initiated and excessive wood crushing was avoided. While wide-flange I-sections were stiffer and stronger, the hollow sections displayed better post-yield behaviour with higher energy dissipation capacity through several cycles of deformation under cyclic loads. The out-of-plane buckling at the point of yielding was the major setback of the embedment of wide-flange I-sections. This research served as a precursor for providing design guidance for the FFTT system as one option for tall wood buildings in high seismic regions.
To support the associated elementary school projects in pushing the boundaries forward for wood construction in seismic zones, this testing project aims to establish the seismic behaviour of two-storey continuous cross-laminated (CLT) timber shear walls in comparison to typical single-storey CLT shear walls and ensure they are able to provide necessary ductility in a seismic event. Working with the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), Fast + Epp aimed to complete a series of monotonic and reversed cyclic tests on CLT shear walls. The test setup was developed to determine the behaviour of these types of shear walls for the project specific application, as well as provide a basis to further develop this type of system for the engineering community. The multi-storey continuous CLT panel shear walls will allow for more efficient and cost-effective construction – reducing construction time, material handling, and the number of connectors required. The lab testing of these shear walls is complete, with data analysis underway. Results are intended to be published in 2021.
In recent years, hybrid systems have grown in popularity as potential solution for mid-rise construction. There is also an increased interest in using timber for such systems. The lack of established design guidance, however, has tabled the practical implementation of timber-based hybrid structures. The aim of this thesis is to address the existing knowledge gap regarding the detailed connection design of hybrid systems through combined experimental and numerical investigations on a novel timber-steel system called “FFTT”. The FFTT system relies on wall panels of mass timber such as Cross-Laminated-Timber (CLT) for gravity and lateral load resistance and embedded steel beam sections to provide ductility under seismic loading. A vital step towards practical implementation of the FFTT system is to obtain the proof that the connections facilitate the desired ‘strong column – weak beam’ failure mechanism.
The numerical work applied the software ANSYS; a parametric study based on the results of previous tests was conducted to obtain a suitable connection configuration for improved structural performance. The experimental work, carried out at FPInnovations, consisted of quasi-static monotonic and reversed cyclic tests on two different connection configurations: fully and partially embedded ASTM wide flange sections in combination with 7 ply CLT panels. The combination of partial embedment length and full embedment depth, even when using the smallest wide flange section, did not facilitate the desired behavior. The connection performance was significantly improved when reducing the embedment depth (to avoid creating stress peaks on a weak cross layer) and increasing the embedment length (larger center to center distance between bearing plates). The used small size steel beam, however, is not practical for a real structure; therefore, further studies with larger beams and a modified geometry are recommended before the FFTT system can be applied in practice.
Recent developments in novel engineered mass timber products and connection systems have created the possibility to design and construct tall timber-based buildings. This research presents the experiments conducted on the steel-wood connection as main energy dissipating part of a novel steel–timber hybrid system labelled Finding the Forest Through the Trees (FFTT). The performance was investigated using quasi-static monotonic and reversed cyclic tests. The influence of different steel beam profiles (wide flange I-sections and hollow rectangular sections), and the embedment approaches (partial and full embedment) was investigated. The test results demonstrated that appropriate connection layouts can lead to the desired failure mechanism while avoiding excessive crushing of the mass timber panels. The research can serve as a precursos for developing design guidelines for the FFTT systems as an option for tall wood-hybrid building systems in seismic regions.