Smart Manufacturing of Curved Mass Timber Components by Self-shaping

https://research.thinkwood.com/en/permalink/catalogue2379
Year of Publication
2020
Topic
Design and Systems
Application
Wood Building Systems
Author
Grönquist, Philippe
Publisher
ETH Zurich
Year of Publication
2020
Country of Publication
Switzerland
Format
Thesis
Application
Wood Building Systems
Topic
Design and Systems
Keywords
Manufacturing
Mass Timber
Up-scaling
Form-stable Curved Elements
Self-Shaping
Language
English
Research Status
Complete
Notes
DOI link: https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000405617
Summary
With the rise of complex and free-form timber architecture enabled by digital design and fabrication, timber manufacturing companies increasingly need to produce curved components. In this thesis, a novel approach for the manufacturing of curved timber building components is proposed and analyzed. Following biological role models such as the bending of pine cone scales, a smart way to curve wood at large-scale is given by the biomimetic concept of bi-layered laminated wood. This principle enables large programmed material deformations upon controlled moisture content change. The main objectives of this thesis are the in-depth understanding of the mechanics of self-shaping wood bilayers and the up-scaling of the already known principle from the laboratory to the industrial scale in order to enable an application as form-stable curved elements in architecture. Hereby, the main challenges addressed are the accurate prediction of shape-change in terms of the natural variability in wood material parameters, the scale-dependent impact of moisture gradients on mechanical behavior, and the influence of wood-specific time- and moisture-dependent deformation mechanisms such as creep or mechano-sorption in the shaping process. Major impacts of these aspects on the shaping behavior could be demonstrated by the use of continuum-mechanical material models adapted to wood, both in the form of analytical and numerical models. Based on the gained insight, the up-scaling process to industrial manufacturing was successfully made possible. A collaborative project realized in 2019, the 14 m high Urbach tower, is presented as a proof of concept for application and competitiveness of the novel biomimetic method for production of curved mass timber components. Furthermore, next to self-shaping by bending to single-curved components, possibilities and limitations for achieving double-curved structures using wood bilayers in a gridshell configuration are analyzed and discussed.
Online Access
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