The paper describes experimental and numerical analyses on a completely new connection system developed for CLT (Cross Laminated Timber) constructions. The innovative solution herein proposed, named X-RAD, consists of a point-to-point mechanical connection system, fixed to the corners of the CLT panels. This connection, that is designed to be prefabricated, is made of a metal wrapping and an inner hard wood element which are fastened to the panel by means of allthreaded self-tapping screws. Such system permits to reduce significantly the number of bolts/fasteners required to assemble two or more panels together or to connect them to the foundation. This results in the enhancement of the installation process in terms of speed, quality and safety. One of the reasons that fuelled the development of the presented system, is the desire of offering a solution to those issues (e.g. to satisfy ductility and energetic dissipation requirements) commonly related to the seismic safety of timber structures. In other words there was the will of defining a system able to guarantee an adequate level of ductility and energetic dissipation.
In this work the behaviour of hybrid multi-storey buildings braced with Cross-Laminated-Timber (CLT) cores and shear-walls is studied based on numerical analyses. Two procedures for calibrating numerical models are adopted and compared to test data and application of provisions in current design codes. The paper presents calibration of parameters characterising connections used to interconnect adjacent CLT panels and building cores, and attach shear-walls to foundations or floors that act as eleveted diaphragms. Different case studies are analysed comparing the structural responses of buildings assembled with „standard" fastening systems (e.g. hold-downs and angle-brackets), or using a special X-RAD connection system. The aim is to characterize behaviours of connections in ways that reflect how they perform as parts of completed multi-storey superstructure systems, rather than when isolated from such systems or their substructures. Results from various analyses are presented in terms of principal elastic periods, base shear forces, and uplift forces in buildings. Discussion addresses key issues associated with engineering analysis and design of buildings having around five or more storeys.
This paper presents the numerical-experimental analysis of an innovative connector for CLT structures. The connection system, named X-RAD, has generated a new approach to CLT constructions, characterized by precision and effectiveness. Thanks to the possibility of assembling the X-RAD connectors directly within the factory, the CLT panels can be lifted during the production phases, transported to the construction site and assembled by the use of a sole element represented by the steel elements placed at the corners of the different panels. The X-RAD components in fact are meant to be pre-assembled in the factory by using all-threaded self-tapping screws, so that the system could act as a lifting point for the positioning operations. Several experimental tests are presented and analysed: tests on screws and monotonic tests on different load configurations. The test outcome lead to the mechanical characterization of the connector. X-RAD has been studied also with an analytical approach: the different load configurations have been solved “at limit” condition by the use of equilibrium. The experimental and analytical approach permitted to define respectively the experimental and the analytical capacity domains. Finally a method to verify X-RAD loaded by a generic external load is proposed.
The cross laminated timber (CLT) technology is nowadays a well-known construction system, which that can be applied to several typologies of residential and commercial buildings. However some critical issues exist which limit the full development of the CLT construction technology: problems in handling, difficulty in assembling...