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.
Three innovative massive wooden shear-wall systems (Cross-Laminated-Glued Wall, Cross-Laminated-Stapled Wall, Layered Wall with dovetail inserts) were tested and their structural behaviour under seismic action was assessed with numerical simulations. The wall specimens differ mainly in the method used to assemble the layers of timber boards composing them. Quasi-static cyclic loading tests were carried out and then reproduced with a non-linear numerical model calibrated on the test results to estimate the most appropriate behaviour factor for each system. Non-linear dynamic simulations of 15 artificially generated seismic shocks showed that these systems have good dissipative capacity when correctly designed and that they can be assigned to the medium ductility class of Eurocode 8. This work also shows the influence of deformations in wooden panels and base connectors on the behaviour factor and dissipative capacity of the system.
The seismic behaviour of timber buildings is strongly related to the energy dissipation capacity of connections. According to Standard, since timber is characterized by a brittle failure when subjected to tensile or bending actions, the dissipative zones shall be located in joints and connections, whereas timber members themselves shall be regarded as behaving elastically. In order to ensure the global structural ductility, connections and joints shall be able to deform plastically at the associated ductility level without a significant reduction of their resistance under cyclic loads. The paper deals with an experimental campaign for the mechanical characterization of timber connection systems, commonly adopted in Europe, in the seismic design of timber buildings. The main objective was to find out the capacity, the stiffness and the ductility of the tested connections and to investigate their loss of capacity under cyclic loads. The obtained results were analysed in order to understand if the current provisions, reported in Standard for the different typology of traditional connectors, can be adopted in case of connection systems used for seismic purposes, such as hold-down or angle brackets. Their interaction with other structural parts was then investigated testing six fullscale timber walls, subjected to monotonic and cyclic loads. The tests were carried out at the Laboratory of Materials and Structural Testing of the Trento University (Italy).
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) wall systems are composed of massive timber panels that are fastened together and to the horizontal elements (foundations or intermediate floors) with step joints and mechanical connections. Due to the high in-plane stiffness of CLT, the shear response of such systems depends strongly on the connections used. This paper proposes a numerical model capable of predicting the mechanical behavior and failure mechanisms of CLT wall systems. The wall and the element to which it is anchored are simulated using three-dimensional (3D) solid bodies, while the connections are modeled as nonlinear hysteretic springs. Typical racking tests of wall systems are reproduced by varying the assumptions used to schematize the behavior of the connections. Results are compared with test data published in the literature, and the differences are discussed. The influence of the boundary conditions (vertical load applied on top of the wall and friction at its base) and aspect ratio of the panel are investigated via a parametric numerical study. Finally, the performance of a wall system assembled with two CLT panels is analyzed, highlighting how the properties of the anchoring connections and vertical step joints affect the load-displacement response and energy dissipation.
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 technique proposed herein, aims to solve the construction site issues related to both the handling and the assembly of cross laminated timber walls (CLT), through an innovative preassembled connection system. This system, which thanks to its being prefabricated permits to save time during the installation process, provides also a high strength and a high stiffness to the panel joints. As a result, an improvement of the building safety is attained for both static and seismic conditions. The main purpose of the original solution is the enhancement of the production, the handling and the onsite assembly processes of CLT panels, by means of an higher degree of prefabrication which implies higher safety, precision and speed of assembly as well as an advantage in terms of costs and time schedule planning.
International Conference on Structures and Architecture
Structures and Architecture: Beyond their Limits
Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Structures and Architecture (ICSA2016), July 27-29, 2016, Guimaraes, Portugal
In the last twenty years CLT (cross-laminated timber) panels have become quite widely employed to build multi-storey buildings often characterized by the presence of many internal and perimeter shear walls. Building superstructures in which beam-and-column frameworks resits effects of gravity loads and core substructures and exterior CLT shear walls resist effects of lateral forces have been found structurally effective. Advantages of such structural arrangements can include creation of large interior spaces, high structural efficiency, and material economies. Here the behaviour of multi-storey buildings braced with CLT cores and additional CLT shear walls is examined based on numerical analyses. Two procedures for calibrating numerical analysis models are proposed and discussed here. The first approach is to use information from Eurocode 5, and the second approach is to use specifically applicable experimental data obrained through laboratory studies. Technically different ways of connecting CLT panels in order to obtain suitably stiff horizontal diaphragms are also presented.