This project studied the feasibility and performance of a mass timber wall system based on Nail Laminated Timber (NLT) for floor/wall applications, in order to quantify the effects of various design parameters. Thirteen 2.4 m × 2.4 m shear walls were manufactured and tested in this phase. Together with another five specimens tested before, a total eighteen shear wall specimens and ten configurations were investigated. The design variables included fastener type, sheathing thickness, number of sheathings, sheathing material, nailing pattern, wall opening, and lumber orientation. The NLT walls were made of SprucePine-Fir (SPF) No. 2 2×4 (38 mm × 89 mm) lumber and Oriented Strand Lumber (OSB) or plywood sheathing. They were tested under monotonic and reverse-cyclic loading protocols, in accordance with ASTM E564-06 (2018) and ASTM E2126-19, respectively.
Compared to traditional wood stud walls, the best performing NLT based shear wall had 2.5 times the peak load and 2 times the stiffness at 0.5-1.5% drift, while retaining high ductility. The advantage of these NLT-based wall was even greater under reverse-cyclic loading due to the internal energy dissipation of NLT.
The wall with ring nails had higher stiffness than the one with smooth nails. But the performance of ring nails deteriorated drastically under reverse-cyclic loading, leading to a considerably lower capacity. Changing the sheathing thickness from 11 mm to 15 mm improved the strength by 6% while having the same initial stiffness. Adding one more face of sheathing increased the peak load and stiffness by at least 50%. The wall was also very ductile as the load dropped less than 10% when the lateral displacement exceeded 150 mm. The difference created by sheathing material was not significant if they were of the same thickness. Reducing the nailing spacing by half led to a 40% increasing in the peak load and stiffness. Having an opening of 25% of the area at the center, the lateral capacity and stiffness reached 75% or more of the full wall.
A simplified method to estimate the lateral resistance of this mass timber wall system was proposed. The estimate was close to the tested capacity and was on the conservative side. Recommendations for design and manufacturing the system were also presented.