In timber construction, curved timber components have been used repeatedly. Yet the use of curved CLT elements is a relatively recent phenomenon. To obtain a European Technical Approval (ETA) for so-called radius timber (single curved CLT elements), Holzbau Unterrainer GmbH commissioned the accredited testing institution TVFA – Innsbruck to carry out the tests required for this purpose. To this end, overall 158 tests were performed in building component dimensions from December 2013 to May 2014, and several laboratory tests were carried out to monitor adhesive joint quality. Due to the single curved shape of radius timber elements, it is key to particularly focus on possible implications on load bearing capacity due to pre-stress of the slats and to the tensile stress perpendicular to grain resulting from deflection forces. To comply with the criteria laid down in the semi-probabilistic safety concept used in Eurocode 5, the impact caused by these pre-curvatures on strength, rigidity and gross density must be known.
A new approach to reinforce glulam timber beams has been developed by using compressed wood (CW) which is made of a lower grade wood through densification processes. In the reinforcing practice, compressed wood blocks are inserted into pre-cut holes on the top of glulam beams to produce pre-camber and to generate initial tensile and compressive stresses on the top and the bottom extreme fibre of the glulam beam. In order to optimize the size, the number and the location of CW blocks, 3-D finite element models have been developed. 3D non-linear finite element models have been developed to simulate the pre-camber of Glulam beams locally reinforced by compressed wood blocks. The models developed have also produced the initial tensile and compressive stresses at the top and bottom extreme fibres with building-up moisture-dependent swelling on the CW blocks. With the pre-camber and the initial stress state that cancel out proportions of working deflection and stresses.
This thesis presents a state of the art on moisture induced stresses in glulam, complemented with own findings. These are covered in detail in the appended papers. The first objective was to find a suitable model to describe moisture induced stresses, in particular with respect to mechanosorption. A review of existing models led to the conclusion that the selection of correct material parameters is more critical to obtain reliable results than the formulation of the mechanosorption model. A series of laboratory tests was thus performed in order to determine the parameters required for the model and to experimentally measure moisture induced stresses in glulam subjected to one dimensional wetting/drying. Special attention was paid to using glulam from the same batch for all the experimental measurements in order to calibrate the numerical model reliably. The results of the experiments confirmed that moisture induced stresses are larger during wetting than during drying, and that the tensile stresses could clearly exceed the characteristic tensile strength perpendicular to grain.