Källsner and Girhammar have presented a new plastic design method for wood-framed shear walls at ultimate limit state. This method allows the designer to calculate the load-carrying capacity of partially anchored shear walls, where the leading stud is not anchored against uplift. The anchorage system of shear walls is provided by anchor bolts in the bottom rail and hold downs at the leading stud. Anchor bolts provide horizontal shear continuity between the bottom rail and the foundation. Hold downs are directly connecting the vertical leading stud to the foundation. Sometimes hold downs are not provided and only the bottom rail is anchored to the substrate. In this case the bottom row of nails transmits the vertical forces in the sheathing to the bottom rail (instead of the stud) where the anchor bolts will further transmit the forces into the foundation.
In this report hold downs have been experimentally studied with respect to the strength and stiffness of the connection. Four different types of hold downs have been tested. The specimen was subjected to tension load applied to the stud. Four tests series are presented. Each series was divided into different sets according to the type of fastener used with the hold down device.
The results show that the failure load is higher when hold downs with anchor bolts are used, up to ten times higher than the anchorage that uses only screws or nails. The failure mode vary with the type of hold down and the type of fasteners used. The tests showed three primary failure modes: failure of the stud when a bolt is used as the fastener between hold down device and stud, failure due to pull-out of the screws or nails from the rail and failure due to failure or pull-out of screws or nails from stud. Also, failure of the stud itself occurred in some tests caused by some defect of the timber.