You are on page 1of 9

Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Engineering Structures
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/engstruct

Ductility aspects of reinforced and non-reinforced timber joints


Hans Joachim Bla, Patrick Schdle
Timber Structures and Building Construction, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

article

info

abstract
Even though brittle failure modes in timber joints may be avoided by the proper design of the connection, the use of minimum timber dimensions and minimum spacing and distances of fasteners often leads to timber splitting in the connection area. Due to the highly nonlinear behaviour of timber loaded in compression as well as the steel used for mechanical fasteners, timber joints can behave in a rather ductile manner. Ductile behaviour is preferable in timber structures. Technical innovations regarding engineered wood products as well as fastener and steel technology led to the development of high-performance timber connections. In these high-performance connections, brittle failure modes are prevented by reinforcing the timber in the connection area perpendicular to the grain or using cross-laminated timber members. The improvement of the ductility levels is shown based on several experimental studies comparing non-reinforced to reinforced connections. 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Available online 11 March 2011 Keywords: Ductility Timber joints Reinforced connections Cross-laminated timber

1. Introduction The failure mechanism of a timber joint with mechanical fasteners among other things depends on the geometry of the joint and the type of fastener. Under compressive stresses, timber as a material may be loaded far over its elastic limit. Also the steel used for mechanical fasteners is able to deform in a distinctly plastic manner. Even though, not in all cases timber connections deform plastically before failure resulting in brittle failure modes. Avoiding the causes for brittle failure modes, specifically high tensile perpendicular to the grain and shear stresses, leads to distinctly plastic failure modes of connections with mechanical fasteners. This case is preferable in timber structures. Based on technical innovations regarding engineered wood products as well as fastener and steel technology, highperformance timber connections were developed in recent years. High-performance connections often are carried out as reinforced connections. The reinforcement relates to the timber in the connection area, where especially tensile stresses perpendicular to the grain are transferred by the reinforcement. The cross layers of cross-laminated timber members act as reinforcement; hence joints in CLT also show high potential for ductile joints. This paper deals with modern timber joints that are designed in such a way that brittle failure is avoided and ductile behaviour can be achieved by using cross-laminated or subsequently reinforced members. The improvement of the ductility levels is shown based

on several experimental studies comparing non-reinforced to reinforced connections. The failure mechanisms as well as the common reinforcement techniques are also shown. Due to the highly nonlinear behaviour of timber joints, the definition of ductility is also discussed. 2. Fundamentals about timber joints When considering timber connections, the joints can be classified into three types:

Carpenter joints. Glued joints. Joints with mechanical fasteners.


Carpenter joints are mainly used to transfer compression forces. If ductility is observed within these connections, it is because of compression perpendicular to the grain failure in at least one member. Glued joints generally do not show ductile behaviour, their failure is brittle. Joints with dowel-type fasteners are potentially ductile by nature due to the interaction between the highly nonlinear behaviour of the wood under embedding stresses and the bending behaviour of the steel fasteners. The challenge is to avoid the brittle failure mechanisms described in Section 2.3 by either avoiding perpendicular to the grain tensile stresses or by using reinforcement techniques described in Section 2.4. 2.1. Embedding behaviour of timber Mechanical fasteners in timber members loaded perpendicular to the fastener axis cause embedment stresses and subsequent deformations in the surrounding wood. Due to the mostly circular cross-section of the fasteners, the wood is compressed both,

Corresponding author. Tel.: +49 721 60848127; fax: +49 721 60844081. E-mail addresses: Hans.Blass@kit.edu (H.J. Bla), Patrick.Schaedle@kit.edu (P. Schdle). 0141-0296/$ see front matter 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2011.02.001

H.J. Bla, P. Schdle / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026

3019

c)
F Fmax true deformation assumption u 0
Fig. 1. (a) Close-up view of the embedding deformation in hardwood species parallel to the grain and (b) perpendicular to the grain, (c) assumption for the loadembedment deformation behaviour according to Johansens theory [4].

Fig. 2. (a) Stressdisplacement relationship loading parallel to the grain, (b) stressdisplacement relationship loading perpendicular to the grain [2].

b)
Mmax

true deformation assumption

0
Fig. 3. (a) Deformation of dowel after a bending test, (b) assumption for the bending behaviour according to Johansens theory.

fh,0,k = 0, 082 k d0,3 in N/mm2 without predrilled holes fh,0,k = 0, 082 (1 0, 01 d) k in N/mm2 with predrilled holes. (2) Embedding behaviour strongly depends on the grain direction of the wood: dowel-type fasteners loaded parallel to the grain (Fig. 1(a)) show a high initial stiffness and a plastic plateau while fasteners loaded perpendicular to the grain are less stiff at lower loads but show a continuous load increase before failure (see Fig. 2, taken from [2]). The embedding strength is the first important parameter used in Johansens yield theory [3] which is widely used for calculating the load-carrying capacity of dowel-type joints. The embedding behaviour of timber or wood-based materials is assumed to be infinitely stiff/perfectly plastic (see Fig. 1(c)). This assumption leads to the exclusively ductile failure modes described by Johansen. 2.2. Yielding of fasteners Bending deformation of the steel fasteners is observed especially for slender fasteners and the yield moment is the second important parameter used in Johansens yield theory. Depending on (1)

Fig. 4. (a) Splitting of specimen, (b) plug shear failure.

parallel and perpendicular to the grain even if only loaded parallel to the grain (see Fig. 1(a)). Depending on the characteristic density k of the timber and the diameter d of the fastener, the embedding strength fh,0,k of a dowel-type fastener parallel to the grain is calculated according to Eurocode 5 [1] as follows:

3020

H.J. Bla, P. Schdle / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026

Fig. 5. (a) Splitting of a moment-resisting connection, (b) reinforcement using glued-on boards while embedment strength increases also.

Fig. 6. (a) Reinforcement by punched metal plate fasteners and (b) nail plates, (c) reinforced connection, screws in contact with dowels.

F K Fy
tan = 1/6 * tan

b
FFailure

F Fy K 0.8 Fmax

Fmax

0.4 Fmax

uy

u max

u Failure

uy

u Failure K //40-90

F Fmax FFailure

F K10-40 Fy

K40-90 Fmax FFailure

Fy

0.5 Fmax

uy

u max

u Failure

uy

u max

u Failure

Fig. 7. Different methods to determine ductility: (a) CEN-1/6-Method, (b) EEEP-Method (c) 0,5 Fmax-Method, (d) 10-40-90-Method.

the type and diameter d of the fastener as well as the steel quality (given by the ultimate tensile strength) fu,k , the yield moment My,k of bolts, dowels, nails or staples according to Eurocode 5 [1] is calculated using the following equation: My,k = 0, 3 fu,k d2,6 for dowel-type fasteners. (3)

The deformation of a dowel is shown in Fig. 3(a), as well as the corresponding assumption for the momentbending angle relation (Fig. 3(b)). Modern timber screws are hardened; the tensile strength of the steel often exceeds 1000 N/mm2 . Due to the influence

H.J. Bla, P. Schdle / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026

3021

Fig. 8. Typical loaddisplacement curves of non-reinforced and reinforced connections.

a1,v

a1,v

a1

a1

(M7 to M10 in Fig. 10)

ductile embedding failure. Depending on timber thickness, loadgrain angle, the spacing as well as the end and edge distances of dowel-type fasteners and their slenderness ratio, timber shows a tendency to split in the connection area before the embedding strength is reached. Increasing fastener spacing decreases the splitting tendency; however, large connection areas are necessary, which usually are not favoured. Decreasing fastener spacing parallel to the grain results in increasing splitting tendency and is considered in the design by using nef , an effective number of fasteners.

(M5 to M6 in Fig. 10)

nef = min n; n
(M1 to M4 in Fig. 10)

0,9

a1 10 d

90 90

+n

90 (4)

According to DIN 1052 [4].

Fig. 9. Geometry of specimen for tests M1M10 with different numbers of reinforcing screws.

of the thread, the yield moment of these fasteners has to be determined by tests. The yield moment is then stated in the technical specification of the screw, e.g. in an ETA. 2.3. Failure modes in timber joints Contrary to the assumptions in Johansens yield theory, the failure of timber in connections is not always characterised by a

Here, n is the number of fasteners parallel to the grain direction, a1 is the fastener spacing, d is the fastener diameter and is the angle between force and grain direction. Fig. 4 shows two different types of splitting failure for loads parallel to the grain: after the critical tensile stress perpendicular to the grain is reached, uncontrolled crack growth develops and the split follows the dowel line (Fig. 4(a)). The failure type in Fig. 4(b) is caused by a combination of tensile perpendicular to the grain and shear stresses: here, timber plugs are sheared off between two dowels or between the last dowel and the end grain. Both failure types are brittle and generally occur before the embedding strength of the timber is reached.

Fig. 10. Test results of non-reinforced (M1M4) vs. reinforced (M5M10) connections.

3022

H.J. Bla, P. Schdle / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026

Fig. 11. Test configurations for (a) 1-24-2S 1.1, (b) 1-20-22_1.2, (c) 1-12-42 1.2.

If the tensile stresses perpendicular to the grain are transferred by reinforcement, e.g. by self-tapping screws with a full thread along the shank and arranged perpendicular to the grain and to the dowel axis, the splitting type in Fig. 4(a) is avoided. In order to also prevent the failure type in Fig. 4(b), glued-on wood-based panels or punched metal plate fasteners are needed as reinforcement. If timber splitting is prevented by a reinforcement perpendicular to the grain, the connection failure modes coincide with the ductile failure modes described by Johansen and nef reaches the actual number of fasteners n. If reinforcement is used providing higher embedment strength than the timber in the connection area, the reinforcement increases the load-carrying capacity of the connection beyond the values predicted by Johansens yield theory. 2.4. Reinforcing timber joints Splitting of timber in the connection area is not only caused by the wedge effect of the dowel-type fasteners; restrained shrinking may increase the tensile stresses perpendicular to the grain and hence facilitate splitting (Fig. 5(a)). Both effects

can be counteracted by reinforcing the connection area. The reinforcement in general has two effects: first, tensile stresses perpendicular to the grain and possibly shear stresses are transferred and, depending on the reinforcement type and its arrangement, the embedding capacity of the reinforced timber area increases. Common methods for the reinforcement of timber members in the connection area are:

Glued-on wood-based panels on both sides of the shear plane


in timber-to-timber connections and on the timber member in steel-to-timber connections. The embedding strength of the reinforcing panels generally exceeds the embedding strength of the timber (Fig. 5(b)). Punched metal plate fasteners or nail plates as an alternative to wood-based panels. The embedding strength significantly exceeds the embedding strength of the timber (Fig. 6(a) and (b)). Self-tapping screws with a continuous thread over the shank either without or with contact to the dowel-type fasteners. In the latter case the screws increase the embedment capacity (Fig. 6(c)).

H.J. Bla, P. Schdle / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026

3023

200 180 160 140 Load in kN 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Displacement in mm 11 12 13 14 15 16


v1 v2 Connections Top

200 180 160 140 Load in kN 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Displacement in mm 11 12


v3 v4 Connections Bottom

13

14

15

16

40 35 30 Load in kN 25 20 15 10 5 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Displacement in mm 13 14 15 16 17 18
v1 v2 Connections Top

Fig. 12. Typical loaddisplacement curves for (a) 1-24-2S xx, (b) 1-20-22 xx, (c) 1-12-42 xx.

The load-carrying capacity of reinforced connections with gluedon wood-based panels or with punched metal plate fasteners or nail plates may be calculated e.g. according to [5]. The load introduced in the reinforcing plate is transferred through the adhesive bond or the nailed connection, respectively, into the timber member. Self-tapping screws with continuous threads represent a simple and economic reinforcement method. The screws are placed in front of the dowel-type fasteners perpendicular to the dowel axis and to the grain direction. If the reinforcing screws are placed in contact with the dowels, an increase of load-carrying capacity similar to the reinforced connections with wood-based panels or nail plates is achieved. The load-carrying capacity may be

Table 1 Classification of ductility according to Eurocode 8 [7]. Classification Low ductility Medium ductility High ductility Static ductility ratio

4 46 6

calculated using a mechanical model developed by Bejtka [6] (chapter 3). If no contact exists between reinforcing screw and the dowel, the lateral load-carrying capacity of the dowel can be calculated according to Johansens yield theory.

3024

H.J. Bla, P. Schdle / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026

Table 2 Test matrix for non-reinforced vs. reinforced connections. Test no. M1 M2 M3 M4 Density (kg/m3 ) 421 422 428 423 Number of reinforcing screws nm 51 51 52 52 52 52 Distance of reinforcement to dowel a1,v (mm) 60 60 60 60 60 60 Maximum load R (kN) 32,3 28,2 33,7 29,5 34,1 34,6 36,5 36,1 36,1 39,2 Ductility 2,1 1,3 1,6 1,3 1,6 3,4 7,3 4,9 4,7 5,7 5,8 5,3

Average value non-reinforced M5 411 M6 430 M7 428 M8 408 M9 420 M10 410 Average value reinforced

Reinforced tests: n = 5 dowels with d = 24 mm. a1 /d = 5, fu = 360 N/mm2 , b = 100 mm. Table 3 Test matrix for joints with cross-laminated timber. Test no. Number of tests Type of fastener Connection geometry t1 mm 1-24-2S_1.1 1-24-2S_2.1 1-24-2S_3.1 1-20-22_1.1 1-20-22_1.2 1-20-22_1.3 1-12-42_1.1 1-12-42_1.2 1-12-42_1.3 4 (1)a 3 (2) 3 (2) 6 (3) 6 (3) 3 (2) 3 (1) 3 (1) 3 (1) Dowel d = 24 mm Dowel d = 24 mm Dowel d = 24 mm Dowel d = 20 mm Dowel d = 20 mm Dowel d = 20 mm Screw 12 200/100 Screw 12 200/100 Screw 12 200/100 60 (3)b 60 (3) 128 (5) 60 (3) 60 (3) 60 (3) 27 (3) 27 (3) 27 (3) t2 mm 128 (5) 128 (5) 128 (5) 146 (5) 146 (5) 146 (5) a1,t mm 7d 5d 5d 5d 5d 4d 10d 12d 6d a1 mm 5d 4d 4d 5d 4d 4d 4d 5d 3d a2,c mm 3d 5, 6d 3d 3d 3d 3d 2, 5d 3d 3d s 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 m 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 n 3 5 3 3 3 3 2 2 2

s: number of shear planes, m: number of columns of fasteners, n: number of fasteners in a row. a In brackets: number of tests with fastener in gap between two adjacent boards. b In brackets: number of layers in CLT member.

2.5. Determination of ductility Ductility in general describes the ability of a structure to undergo large deformations in the plastic range before its collapse. Ductility often is defined as the ratio between ultimate and yield displacement:

umax uy

(5)

Ductile behaviour is especially important e.g. for structures in seismic regions. Classifications of ductility hence can be found in seismic codes like in Eurocode 8 [7] (Table 1). To estimate ductility, the determination of a yield point (given by yield force and yield displacement) is necessary. Since the yield criterion for timber connections is not well-defined as it is e.g. for steel structures, different methods for the determination of the yield point for timber connections or structures exist (Fig. 7). Some well-known procedures are (1) the 1/6 method according to EN 12512 (CEN Method) [8], (2) the equivalent energy elasticplastic method (EEEP), which is widely used in northern America, (3) the 0, 5 Fmax -Method from Karacabeyli and Ceccotti and (4) the 104090-Method according to Yasumura and Kawei. A detailed description of the methods can be found in [9]. Since the CEN method is specified in EC8, it is used to determine the static ductility ratio in this paper. In some of the following tests it can be seen that none of the procedures in Fig. 7 seems to be adequate to evaluate the ductility of highly deformable joints or structures. 3. Reinforced connections A research project at KIT (formerly: Universitt Karlsruhe) concluded in 2005 [6] deals with the reinforcement of timber joints

using self-tapping screws. The experiments proved that crack growth can effectively be prevented by placing screws in front of the dowels of a dowel-type connection. Consequently, by avoiding splitting of the specimen, the load-carrying capacity is increased (Fig. 8). Furthermore, the screws can be placed in contact with the dowel-type fasteners. In this case, the load-carrying capacity of the connections can be further increased while the joint stiffness increases as well. A calculation model as an extension of Johansens yield theory and based on theoretical and experimental studies is presented in [6]. Preventing brittle failure modes by the use of screws as reinforcement, not only strength and stiffness values are increased. The ductile characteristics of timber joints also change in a favourable manner. Fig. 10 shows loaddisplacement curves of four non-reinforced vs. six reinforced test specimens. While brittle failure characterises the behaviour of the non-reinforced specimens M1M4, ductile behaviour is observed in all other tests. The tests M5 and M6 were carried out using one screw per dowel and shear plane without contact with the dowel (according to Fig. 8 (middle)). Starting with small cracks, the failure finally occurred due to plug shear failure. Test M5 did not show pronounced ductile behaviour. Tests M7M10 were carried out using two screws per dowel and shear plane. Ductile behaviour can be observed in these tests. The test matrix can be found in Table 2. The geometry of the specimen is shown in Fig. 9. The advancement in ductility can be seen in Table 2. While tests 14 show static ductility ratios between 1 and 2 tests 510 show an average static ductility ratio of 5,3. 4. Connections in cross-laminated timber (CLT) Cross-laminated timber is increasingly used as a structural product in timber engineering. Connections between CLT members

H.J. Bla, P. Schdle / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026

3025

Fig. 13. Static ductility ratios for 1-24-2S 1.1 (diamonds), 1-20-22_1.2.2 (squares), 1-12-42 1.2 (circles). The low values for test nos. 5 and 6 are the result of preliminary tensile failure of the side members.

Fig. 14. Failure modes of dowelled connections with cross-laminated timber: (a) dowels in gaps between adjacent boards, (b) embedment deformation, (c) brittle failure with reduced spacing.

or between a CLT member and a solid or glued laminated timber member are often carried out using self-drilling screws as fasteners. The fasteners may be arranged either perpendicular to the plane of the panels or in their edges. A research project regarding connections in cross-laminated timber was carried out at Universitt Karlsruhe in 2007 [10]. The aim of this project was to determine the load-carrying capacity of joints with dowel-type fasteners in cross-laminated timber members. Cross-laminated timber contains cross layers acting as reinforcement: cross layers eliminate splitting to a large extent, cracks and plug shear failure, if any, are only observed in the outer layers. Here, three test configurations are analysed:

to the non-reinforced and screw reinforced timber connections, it can be seen that CLT connections show higher static ductility ratios. It was observed that the failure in CLT connections was mostly caused by large embedment deformations while cracks and plug shear failure could only be observed in the outer CLT layers (Fig. 14(a) and (b)). Reduced spacing parallel to the grain from 5d to 4d more often leads to brittle failure (Fig. 14(c)). 5. Conclusions Several methods for the reinforcement of timber joints are presented in this paper. The primary reason for reinforcing timber joints is to prevent brittle failure modes of timber due to splitting or shear and hence improve ductility. Depending on the type of connection to be reinforced, different methods may be applied. For members loaded mainly in tension, the plastic fastener deformation in bending requires large embedding deformation without preliminary timber failure due to splitting or shear failure. An easy way for the reinforcement perpendicular to the grain of the connections in tensile members is the use of self-drilling screws. The application is very fast and the screws are comparatively cheap. This leads to a cost-effective way for the reinforcement of the members joint areas. The screws may as well be placed in contact to the fastener which increases the load-carrying capacity and the stiffness of the joint.

10 tests with dowels in double shear with outer members of CLT


and a steel plate as middle member.

15 tests with dowels in double shear and cross-laminated


timber as outer and middle member.

9 tests with screws in double shear and cross-laminated timber


as outer and middle member. The test configurations can be seen in Fig. 11, the test matrix is given in Table 3. The different configurations exhibit rather typical load-displacement curves which can be seen in Fig. 12. Fig. 13 shows the static ductility ratios for the three test configurations. Comparing static ductility ratios of CLT connections

3026

H.J. Bla, P. Schdle / Engineering Structures 33 (2011) 30183026 [3] Johansen KW. Theory of timber connections. In: International association of bridge and structural engineering. Publication No. 9:249262. Bern (Switzerland); 1949. [4] DIN 1052 2008-12: design of timber structures general rules and rules for buildings. German version. [5] Bla HJ, Werner H. Stabdbelverbindungen mit verstrkten Anschlubereichen. In: Bauen mit Holz 90: S. 1988. p. 6017. [6] Bejtka I. Verstrkung von Bauteilen aus Holz mit Vollgewindeschrauben. Band 2 der Reihe Karlsruher Berichte zum Ingenieurholzbau. Herausgeber: Universitt Karlsruhe (TH), Lehrstuhl fr Ingenieurholzbau und Baukonstruktionen, Univ. -Prof. Dr. -Ing. H.J. Bla; 2005. [7] Eurocode 8: design of structures for earthquake resistance part 1: general rules, seismic actions and rules for buildings. German version EN 1998-1; 2004. [8] EN 12512. Timber structures test methods cyclic testing of joints made with mechanical fasteners; 2001. [9] Munoz W, Mohammad M, Salenikovich A, Quenneville P. Need for a harmonised approach for calculations of ductility of timber assemblies. In: Proceedings of CIB-W18. Paper 41-15-5. St. Andrews (Canada); 2008. [10] Bla HJ, Uibel T. Tragfhigkeit von stiftfrmigen Verbindungen in Brettsperrholz. Band 8 der Reihe Karlsruher Berichte zum Ingenieurholzbau. Herausgeber: Universitt Karlsruhe (TH), Lehrstuhl fr Ingenieurholzbau und Baukonstruktionen. Univ.-Prof. Dr. -Ing. H.J. Bla; 2007.

The reinforcement may also be carried out using punched metal plate fasteners or glued-on boards to increase the embedding strength of the timber. This method in general leads to a higher increase of the joints load-carrying capacity, the application of the reinforcement, however, is more laborious and expensive. To date, the main field of application for CLT has been its use as load-carrying panels loaded either in or perpendicular to its plane. Connections in CLT show very favourable behaviour due to the crosswise lamination of the layers, which can be seen as a natural reinforcement. Ongoing research projects are dealing with the application of CLT as linear load-carrying members for example as tensile or compressive members in trusses or as beams. References
[1] Eurocode 5: design of timber structures part 11: general common rules and rules for buildings. German version EN 1995-1-1:2004+A1; 2008. [2] Yasumura M. Determination of yield strength and ultimate strength of doweltype timber joints. In: Proceedings of CIB-W18. Paper 33-7-1. Delft (The Netherlands); 2000.