Structural Testing of All-Timber Edge Connections

Written on Jul 11, 2019

Inspired by traditional woodworking joints, three types of all-timber wall panel edge connections were designed, manufactured and tested. The three designs had a form of a finger joint and included the following arrangements: simple rectangular, zigzag and inverse zigzag. Samples of dimensions of 175 mm wide by 120 mm high by 19 mm deep were tested to determine the ultimate load resistance, failure mode and joint stiffness. An analytical model was developed to design samples undergoing ductile bearing failure; however, it was found that all specimens failed in an undesirable brittle shear failure mode. Following data analysis, a new connection design was proposed, combining advantages of all three tested connection types. By decreasing the interlocking of the connection, it is hoped that the new design would have an adequate stiffness, yet fail in a preferable ductile mode. Further research in this topic is required in order to verify the suitability of the proposed solution in mass timber structures.

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