Initially, timber was considered only as an easily accessible and processable material in nature; however, its excellent properties have since become better understood. During the discovery of new building materials and thanks to new technological development processes, industrial processing technologies and gradually drastically decreasing forest areas, wood has become an increasingly neglected material. Load-bearing structures are made mostly of reinforced concrete or steel elements. However, ecological changes, the obvious problems associated with environmental pollution and climate change, are drawing increasing attention to the importance of environmental awareness. These factors are attracting increased attention to wood as a building material. The increased demand for timber as a building material offers the possibility of improving its mechanical and physical properties, and so new wood-based composite materials or new joints of timber structures are being developed to ensure a better load capacity and stiffness of the structure. Therefore, this article deals with the improvement of the frame connection of the timber frame column and a diaphragm beam using mechanical fasteners. In common practice, bolts or a combination of bolts and pins are used for this type of connection. The subject of the research and its motivation was to replace these commonly used fasteners with more modern ones to shorten and simplify the assembly time and to improve the load capacity and rigidity of this type of frame connection.
The present study deals with the innovation and the possibilities of improving the design solution of a frame connection for two selected types of fasteners. All specimens were made of glued laminated timber. Dowel-type mechanical fasteners, a combination of bolts and dowels, and full-threaded screws were used for the connection. The main goal of this research was to replace the typical solution (common dowel-type fasteners) with a more modern, faster, and easier solution in order to improve the load-carrying capacity, ductility, and deformation capacity of this type of frame connection. This article also aimed to provide a detailed evaluation of the mechanical properties of the used glued laminated timber and fasteners in order to comprehensively evaluate the research task. For the design solution, a frame connection created from a system of two struts and a partition was chosen as the basis of the experimental program. Dowel-type mechanical fasteners, as well as combinations of bolts and dowels, were used for the connection; however, in addition to these standardly used mechanical fasteners, full-threaded screws were used. The article describes the use of static destructive testing to determine the ductility of the connection, considering different variations in the strengthening of the individual segments of the mentioned connection means. In the first variation, the individual components of the frame were not reinforced in any way. In the second, the crossbar was reinforced with two full-threaded bolts. In the third, the webs and the crossbar were reinforced with two full-threaded bolts. In the article, these ductility values were compared with each other and the procedure was set by the currently valid standard.