Investigation into the Failure of a Long-Span Glued Laminated Beam

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue1251
Year of Publication
2017
Topic
Mechanical Properties
Material
Glulam (Glue-Laminated Timber)
Application
Roofs
Author
Shuck, Andrew
Porto, Jason
Sasaki, Kent
Organization
Structures Congress
Publisher
American Society of Civil Engineers
Year of Publication
2017
Country of Publication
United States
Format
Conference Paper
Material
Glulam (Glue-Laminated Timber)
Application
Roofs
Topic
Mechanical Properties
Keywords
Failure
Language
English
Conference
Structures Congress 2017
Research Status
Complete
Notes
April 6–8, 2017, Denver, Colorado
Summary
The failure of wood roof members in older buildings is a fairly common occurrence compared to systems built of steel or concrete. The slow-working detrimental effect of sustained loading at relatively high stress levels (i.e., “creep rupture” or “cumulative damage”) is typically viewed as the predominant failure mechanism, but this is not always the case. The following describes a case study of a glulam beam that failed for other reasons. The subject glulam beam that failed absent a significant atypical loading event was one of many in the roof structure of a large building. Each glulam beam was about five feet deep and 100 feet long. At the time of failure, the subject glulam beam was 41 years old. Through the course of the investigation, significant research was performed into multiple aspects of glulam beam behavior, including revisions to design stresses over time, fabrication technology, and time-dependent properties. Detailed field observations were performed to document the failed beam, the surrounding elements, and the assemblies supported by the roof framing. The cause of the failure was ultimately found to be a fabrication error.
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