Proceedings of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering Annual Conference 2021
This study evaluates the potential of using shape memory alloy (SMA) dowels to develop self-centering wood-steel-wood connections in braced timber frames. First, the behaviour of SMA dowels in bending is established experimentally by performing three-point bending tests on SMA bars under monotonic and one-way cyclic loading. The ability of the superelastic SMA bars to regain their shape after undergoing large bending deformations is evaluated to help determine the feasibility of using SMAs as dowels. Preliminary tests show that SMAs offer promising self-centering abilities when subjected to one-way cyclic bending. Based on the observed SMA behaviour, two-dimensional finite element models of a wood-steel-wood connection are developed in Abaqus to simulate the behaviour of braced timber frame connections under earthquake loading. Analysis results show that SMAs can significantly reduce residual displacements when compared to traditional steel dowels.