The mechanical behaviour of timber-to-timber connections with internal panels of densified veneer wood (DVW) and fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) dowels was experimentally assessed and a design method, based on EN 1995-1-1, was developed. Embedment tests on DVW plates and bending/shear tests on FRP dowels were performed to characterise these components, followed by full-scale tests of connections assembled with these materials. The results show that these connections exhibit a mechanical behaviour compatible with structural applications, regarding both load-carrying capacity and ductility. The proposed design model is based on EN 1995-1-1’s expressions for connections with dowel-type fasteners and gives good predictions of the experimental load-carrying capacities.
This paper presents an experimental and analytical investigation on the application of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) made of European beech wood (fagus sylvatica L.) in timber truss structures. Particular focus is laid on developing improved design approaches for dowel-type connections and on promoting ductile failure behaviour, as the connections in timber trusses are generally governing the performance of the whole structure. Embedment tests were carried out in order to assess the embedment strength values for beech LVL, which are necessary to design dowel-type connections. The results showed higher values for beech LVL, as compared to estimations using existing formulas from design codes. A series of tensile connection tests showed that, using cross-layered beech LVL, ductile dowel-type connections with high load-carrying capacities can be designed, given that premature brittle failures are prevented. Lastly, tests on full truss structures confirmed that the favourable behaviour of dowel-type connections in cross-layered beech LVL can be implemented in truss systems, improving the global behaviour of the whole structural element.