At the Institute of Structural Engineering at the ETH Zurich numerous of investigations are
conducted to analyse the load bearing capacity of glued laminated timber beams. The investigations are part of the research project ’Influence of varying material properties on the load bearing capacity of glued laminated timber (glulam)’.
The investigations are taking place on 24 glulam beams with well-known material properties.
The glulam beams are fabricated out of 400 timber boards. From those boards the material
properties are investigated non-destructively within a former research project. During the glulam
fabrication it is particularly focused to keep the information of the timber boards; i.e. after the
glulam fabrication the position of each particular timber board within the glulam beam and
thus the position of each particular knot is still known.
The glulam beams are investigated during a 4-point bending test. On the glulam members
the load bearing capacity, the bending stiffness and the density is measured. Furthermore
local strains within the glulam beams are investigated using an optical coordinate-measurement
device. Following the test the failure is investigated in detail. Hereby the type of failure (knot
cluster, finger joint, clear wood) and the amount of failure (number of damaged lamellas) is
documented. Afterwards the failed glulam beams are loaded again to analyse the remaining
bending strength and the corresponding remaining bending stiffness.
The major aim of the experimental analysis is the investigation of the load bearing capacity
of glulam beams with well-known local material properties. The gained results can be used for
an investigation of the influence of local weak zones, such as knot clusters or finger joints, on the
load bearing capacity of glulam. In addition a data basis is produced to develop a new model
(or to evaluate existing models) for the estimation of the load bearing capacity of glulam.
With the ever-increasing popularity of engineered wood products, larger and more complex structures made of timber have been built, such as new tall timber buildings of unprecedented height. Designing for structural robustness in tall timber buildings is still not well understood due the complex properties of timber and the difficulty in testing large assemblies, making the prediction of tall timber building behaviour under damage very difficult. This paper discusses briefly the existing state-of-the-art and suggests the next step in considering robustness holistically. Qualitatively, this is done by introducing the concept of scale, that is to consider robustness at multiple levels within a structure: in the whole structure, compartments, components, connections, connectors, and material. Additionally, considering both local and global exposures is key in coming up with a sound conceptual design. Quantitatively, the method to calculate the robustness index in a building is presented. A novel framework to quantify robustness and find the optimal structural solution is presented, based on the calculation of the scenario probability-weighted average robustness indices of various design options of a building. A case study example is also presented in the end.
At the institute of structural engineering at the ETH Zurich multiple of investigations are conducted to analyse the material properties of Norway spruce timber boards. The investigations are part of the research project “Influence of varying material properties on the load bearing capacity of glued laminated timber (glulam)”. The majority of the investigations are non-destructively.
The investigations are taking place on 400 timber boards. On all specimens the moisture content, the density, the Eigenfrequency and the longitudinal ultrasonic runtime was investigated. Further all knots with a diameter larger then 10mm are measured. Thereby the position and the size of all the knots are documented. Subsequently on 200 selected boards non-destructive tensile test are performed to analyse the local young modulus. Herewith it was particularly focused on the investigation of the stiffness of areas having knots or knot clusters and areas without knots. The strains are measured with an optical coordinatemeasurement device. In the last part of the experimental investigation the deformation and failure behaviour of significant knot clusters is analysed. The strains are measured with digital image correlation.
Focus of the entire experimental analysis was the investigation of the young modulus and the quantifications of its variability within timber members and between timber members. Within this study a database was produced to evaluate existing test methods for the estimation of the young modulus. Further, the results can be used as a basis for further investigations on the variability of structural timber.