This paper presents the first experimental study of the load-slip behaviour of aluminium-timber composite bolted connections reinforced with toothed plates. The effectiveness of the strengthening was evaluated in laboratory push-out tests. The push-out test samples consisted of laminated veneer lumber panels, aluminium alloy I-beams, and bolts (grade 8.8 10 mm × 125 mm and 12 mm × 135 mm bolts, grade 5.8 10 mm × 125 mm and 12 mm × 135 mm bolts). A group of 16 specimens had toothed plates as additional reinforcement, while 16 specimens had no reinforcement. The impact of the bolt diameter (10 and 12 mm) and bolt grade (5.8 and 8.8) on the behaviour of the connections was also analysed. The values of the ultimate load and the slip modulus for the bolted connections with grade 8.8 10 mm and 12 mm bolts and with grade 5.8 12 mm bolts reinforced by toothed-plate connectors were comparable to the values for the non-reinforced connections. This was because, in the case of grade 8.8 10 mm × 125 mm and 12 mm × 135 mm bolts and grade 5.8 12 mm × 135 mm bolts, the laminated veneer lumber (LVL) slabs split both in the reinforced and non-reinforced connections. The toothed-plate connectors reduced timber destruction in the bearing zones in the LVL slabs. However, they did not protect the LVL slabs against splitting. Therefore, the impact of the toothed plate connectors on the stiffness and strength of the bolted connections with grade 8.8 10 mm and 12 mm bolts and with grade 5.8 12 mm bolts analysed in this paper was found to be negligible. In the case of grade 5.8 10 mm bolts, the LVL slabs did not split. The mean slip modulus k0.6 of the connections with grade 5.8 10 mm bolts reinforced with toothed plate connectors was 2.9 times higher than that of the non-reinforced connections. However, the strength of the connections with grade 5.8 10 mm bolts was 1.2 times lower after reinforcing. This was because the shanks of the bolts were sheared faster in the reinforced connections than in the non-reinforced connections as a result of the bolt shanks being under the bearing pressure of the aluminium flange, the LVL slab, and the toothed-plate flange. This situation did not occur for the remaining connections because they had a higher strength (grade 8.8 bolts) or a larger diameter (12 mm), and their bolts were less prone to cutting off. The investigated load–slip curves of the reinforced bolted connections can be used for designing and numerical modelling of aluminium-timber composite beams with this type of connection.
This paper presents an investigation of the load-slip behaviour of aluminium-timber composite connections. Toothed plates with bolts are often used for connecting timber structural members with steel structural members. In this paper, toothed plates (C2-50/M10G, C2-50/M12G or C11-50/M12) have been used as reinforcement in aluminium-timber screwed connections for the first time. The push-out test specimens consisted of laminated veneer lumber slabs, aluminium alloy beams, and hexagon head wood screws (10 mm × 80 mm and 12 mm × 80 mm). Of the specimens, 12 additionally had toothed plates as reinforcement, while 8 had no reinforcement. The load carrying-capacity, the mode of failure and the load-slip response of the strengthened and non-strengthened screwed connections were investigated. The use of toothed plate connectors was found to be effective in increasing the strength of aluminium-timber composite connections and ineffective in improving their stiffness. The examined stiffness and strength of the connections can be used in the design and numerical modelling of aluminium-timber composite beams with reinforced screwed connections.