The force-displacement behaviour of structural timber members subjected to axial compression or combined axial compression and bending is distinctively non-linear. This behaviour is caused by the non-linear increase of the deformation due to the increasing eccentricity of the axial load as well as by the non-linear material behaviour of timber when subjected to compression. The present report describes experimental investigations on glued laminated timber members subjected to eccentric compression. The aim of these experimental investigations was to create a data base, which can be used to validate theoretical calculation models and to assess the accurateness of the design approaches given in the design codes for timber structures.
The specimens for the main bunch of experiments were produced using lamellas made of Norway spruce grown in Switzerland. For this purpose, a total of 336 lamellas were available. In the first step, non-destructive tests on the lamellas were performed. These tests aimed at the collection of data in order to characterise the raw material.
In the second step, the lamellas were strength graded. The aim of the grading process was to select two classes of lamellas for the production of the test specimens. The lamellas were selected so that they were suitable to produce glued laminated timber of strength classes GL24h and GL32h. Within the grading process, visual grading criteria as well as machine grading criteria were used.
In the third step, the graded lamellas were used to produce glued laminated timber members. Five tests series were produced. Each of the test series consisted of ten specimens. Three series were made of glued laminated timber GL24h and two series were made of glued laminated timber GL32h. The length of the timber members was varied between the different test series. The lengths were L = 1’400 mm, L = 2’300 mm and L = 3’200 mm respectively. During the production, the setup of the test specimens was recorded. Hence, the position and the orientation of every lamella within the test specimen were documented. Additionally, some non-destructive tests were performed using the test specimens.
In the last step, the glued laminated timber members were subjected to buckling tests. The test specimens were loaded with an eccentric compression force up to failure. During the tests, different measurements were carried out in order to document the experimental investigations as accurate as possible. Amongst others, the applied loads as well as horizontal and vertical deformations were recorded. For a subsample of 20 test specimens, additional local deformation measurements were performed using an optical measurement device.