A research study on a new plastic design method for timber frame shear walls partially anchored is under development in Sweden. In this research an important focus has been put on the problem of the possible splitting of the bottom rail. In partially anchored timber frame shear walls there are not hold downs taking the vertical loads so the corresponding forces can be replaced by vertical loads from upper storeys, the roof or connection between shear wall and transversal wall. In this case the bottom row of rail transmits the vertical forces in the sheathing to the bottom rail (instead of the vertical stud) where the anchor bolts will further transmit the forces into the foundation. The bottom rail is then subjected to tensile load perpendicular to the grain, which can be often causes a splitting failure.
The aim of this report is to present the results of three experimental studies: tensile strength perpendicular to the grain in radial and tangential direction, fracture energy with TR and RT orientations and bottom rail. The experimental programs have been conducted at two different periods and places: bottom rail tests at Umeå University in October 2012 and tensile strength perpendicular to grain and fracture energy at SP in Stockholm in June 2013.