Euromech Colloquim 556 Theoretical Numerical and Experimental Analyses of Wood Mechanics
May 2015, Dresde, Germany
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels are more and more common in timber construction. When submitted to out-of-plane loads, they can be considered as multi-layer plates with anisotropic behaviour. Their main structural issue is the low transverse shear strength of cross layers which leads to rolling shear failure. In addition the fabrication process can include or not lateral boards’ gluing. The resulting discontinuities can be considered as weakly heterogeneous and influence the mechanical response. Moreover the timber construction market requires new technical solutions for CLT, like periodic voids within the panel. This solution leads to lighter and more thermally efficient floors. However, the spaced voids between boards increase the heterogeneity of the panel and therefore the complexity of stresses’ distribution.
A regular alternation of lamellas and voids filled by insulating material within each layer of CLT can lead to cellular panels with improved acoustical, thermal and fire performance. In order to support the development of these innovative and lighter engineered wood products, their mechanical behavior is investigated in this paper by means of experiments and modeling. First, an experimental campaign on spaced CLT panels and related results are presented. Then, both simplified and refined modelings are applied. The chosen accurate modeling is a periodic homogenization scheme handled by a plate theory  and based on unit-cell strain energy computation with FEM. It appears that the simplified approach can predict the bending stiffness (EI) of CLT panels with large voids but not their transverse shear stiffness (GA) which can be precisely predicted with the more refined modeling. Finally, the influence of several panel’s parameters on the mechanical response is pointed out as well.
In a former paper by the authors , the elastic behavior of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and timber panels having periodic gaps between lateral lamellae has been analyzed. A thick plate homogenization scheme based on Finite Elements computations has been applied. The predicted behavior was in agreement with experimental results. In this paper, simplified closed-form solutions are derived in order to avoid FE modeling. Both cases of narrow gaps of CLT panels and wide gaps of innovative lightweight panels are investigated. CLT and timber panels with gaps are modeled as a space frame of beams connected with wooden blocks. The contribution of both beams and blocks to the panel’s mechanical response is taken into account, leading to closed-form expressions for predicting the panel’s stiffnesses and maximum longitudinal and rolling shear stresses. The derived closed-form solutions are in agreement with the reference FE results and they can be used for practical design purposes.
In the present paper, the influence of periodic gaps between lamellas of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) on the panel’s elastic behavior is analyzed by means of a periodic homogenization scheme for thick plates having periodic geometry. Both small gaps, due to the fabrication process of not-gluing lateral lamellas, and wider gaps are investigated. The results obtained with the periodic homogenization scheme are compared to existing closed-form solutions and available experimental data. It appears that the plate bending stiffness can be well predicted with both homogenization and simplified methods, while only the homogenization approach is in agreement with the experimental in-plane and out-of-plane shear behavior. The influence of several properties of CLT lay-up on the mechanical response is pointed out as well.
In the present paper, the bending behavior of Cross Laminated Timber panels is investigated by means of the linear elastic exact solution from Pagano (1970; 1969). The resulting stresses are the input for a wood failure criterion, which can point out the first-crack load and the respective dominant failure mode. Heterogeneous layers are modeled as equivalent and homogeneous layers. This simplified and deterministic modeling gives results in good agreement with a reference experimental test. A comparison is made with respect to the panel’s global stiffness and failure stages within the apparent elastic stage. Finally, parameter studies are carried out, in order to quantify CLT limitations and advantages. The effect of varying properties like the panel’s slenderness, orientation of transverse layers and number of layers for a fixed total thickness are investigated.