Densified Veneer Wood for Notched Joints in Timber Concrete Composite Structures

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1 Densified Veneer Wood for Notched Joints in Timber Concrete Composite Structures 1 Summary Dias, A.M.P.G. Assistant Professor University of Coimbra Coimbra-Portugal Kuilen, J.W.G., Associate Professor Delft University of Technology, Delft-The Netherland Helena Cruz Senior Research Officer LNEC Lisbon-Portugal Sérgio Lopes Associate Professor University of Coimbra Coimbra-Portugal At Delft University of Technology in cooperation with University of Coimbra a new type of joint was tested using a special type of notch. Instead of cutting timber to obtain the notches, wood based blocks were glued in the top surface of the main timber member. These blocks were first produced from a special type of plywood with a high density ( kg/m3), a high strength and stiffness (dvw). As a comparison and a possibly cheaper option, the same type of notched joint was also produced with hardwood. This paper presents a complete description of the joints, as well as the shear tests that were performed with three joint configurations, whose results are presented and discussed. 2 Introduction In timber concrete composite structures the strength and stiffness of the joints are essential to transfer the shear loads between the two materials and thus to obtain an efficient solution. One of the most efficient methods to transfer these shear loads is through direct contact. Usually this contact is obtained by cutting notches in the timber member or gluing timber blocks on the top of the main timber members (usually referred to as notched joints) creating holes that are afterwards poured with concrete. Many times, however, the structural timber members are produced from softwood timber, leading to significant embedding deformations in the timber contact area which results in a reduction of the joints stiffness. In order to avoid that, a new type of notch was tested. It consists of a special type of plywood (densified veneer wood dvw), glued to the top of the main timber members. Lower deformations and higher strengths were obtained due to the higher stiffness and strength of the timber used in the blocks when compared with the softwood timber used in the main timber members. Nevertheless the

2 final cost of the joint was high due to the high cost of the dvw. For that reason, a cheaper alternative was also tested, in which Holm oak hardwood was used instead of dvw to form the block. Timber concrete solutions are many times used in the renovation of old timber floors where the floorboards act as an interlayer. Therefore it was also decided to test an alternative suitable to be used in these situations. The timber blocks forming the notches were, thicker than before so that they pass through the interlayer floor boards transmitting the loads directly from the concrete layer to the main beam members. In order to evaluate the mechanical behavior of these joint configurations, an experimental test program, comprising 3 test configurations was established: - densified veneer notches - dvwn, - densified veneer notches and a 20mm thick interlayer, dvwni, - Holm oak (quercus rotundifolia Lam.) notches, ON. 3 Test specimens properties Generally the test specimens consisted of a central concrete member connected to two side timber members by means of one connector by shear plane. The dimensions of the test specimens are presented in Figure 1. Top view boards concrete glue line timber dvw/oak notch dvwni dvwn ON Side view Figure 1. Configuration and dimensions (mm) of the test specimens Timber The timber used for the main timber members was glue laminated Spruce with a mean density value of 445 kg/m 3. The specimens were stored at climate conditions 20/65 (temperature of 20ºC and air humidity of 65%), leading to a timber moisture content of around 12% in timber.

3 The notches were produced with densified veneer wood (dvw) blocks with a density of around 1200kg/m 3 and with Holm oak hardwood with a density around 900kg/m 3. The dimensions of the notches were always mm and the thickness was 15mm in the specimens without interlayer and 35mm in the specimens with interlayer. The floor boards composing the interlayer were made of timber planks with 20mm thickness and variable widths. Each one of the boards was connected to the timber beams by two nails as commonly found in existing floors. Concrete The concrete used was selected to represent a concrete type currently used in these situations. The mean values of its compression strength (in the day of the test) were: 50, 47 and 54 MPa for dvwn, dvwni and ON respectively. In practice, the small thickness of the concrete slab added to the small thickness of the notch might cause problems, such as: discontinuity in the concrete introduced by big aggregate size or high variations in the dimensions of the member. These aspects require additional cautions in the selection of the materials. Therefore, it was decided to have a fluid concrete and a small maximal size of the aggregate (12.7mm) which corresponds to the recommended procedure at the building site. Preparation of the test specimens The preparation of the test specimens began by gluing the notches to the timber beams using a water based adhesive for timber. They were first adjusted to the right position by screws and then clamped during the first 72 hours to ensure a higher contact pressure during the hardening process of the adhesive. This was followed by the application of a protection around the timber to avoid water take up and reduce the timber-concrete friction that would occur during the tests. During the entire process, the timber specimens were stored at a climate 20/65 and were placed in the formwork immediately before the casting. In each casting, all the shear test specimens were prepared, 10 for dvwn and dvwin and 21 for ON test series. 4 Test set up The transducers (LVDT, and plates) necessary to measure the displacements were assembled by means of screwing on timber and gluing on concrete. The load was measured at the point of application, on the top of the concrete member, while the relative displacement between timber and concrete was measured at half height of the test specimens in the two shear planes at the front and at the back. In test specimens with interlayer, the relative displacement between timber and floor boards was also measured at the same location, as can be seen in Figure 2.

4 Figure 2 Test set up used in the tests. In order to distribute the forces applied in the top of the concrete element and in the bottom of the timber members, thick steel plates were used for the entire area. During the whole test, both timber members had the horizontal displacements restrained. Restraining the horizontal displacement avoids the formation of a gap between timber and concrete but may lead to a small overestimation of the ultimate load and slip modulus. On the other hand, without this restriction it would be impossible to test the specimens with notched joints, unless an extra fastener was used to avoid the formation of a gap between timber and concrete that could lead to a premature end of the test. In the tests, all the procedures given in EN (1991) were followed. The estimated load F est was based on the results of preliminary tests [2]. The measurements were recorded every second by the data acquisition equipment. 5 Test results The test specimens showed a very brittle behavior in line with what was observed in the preliminary tests [2]. The failure occurred due to shear failure of the timber next to the glue line (Figure 3). In the dvwn and dvwni test series, visual cracks appeared at the top of the concrete member in one test specimen. On the load-slip curve of this test, softening is to be observed, probably caused by the cracking. This conclusion is supported by the facts that neither cracks were visible nor softening was found in the other tests. After testing, a number of test specimens were disassembled (separating timber from concrete). All the test specimens showed the same damage and no indications of movement/damage could be found in the dvw.

5 Figure 3 Crack pattern for the Holm oak series. In the test series with Holm oak, the failure mode was slightly different. It started with diagonal cracks on the concrete member, as indicated in Figure 3, and only after a large slip (>5mm) the failure occurred in the glue line of the notch. Nevertheless, the ultimate cause of the collapse of the test specimens was always failure of the glue line. These damages did not cause the test failure directly. However, they probably influenced since the load-slip behavior after the cracking was significantly different. There was a much more pronounced plastic behavior, with a significant increase in the slip with almost no increases in the load (Figure 4). Nevertheless, the test proceeded up to the failure of the test specimen due to failure of the glue line between the oak notch and the timber member. The mean values and the coefficient of variation of the most important parameters measured or calculated from the tests are presented in Table 1. Table 1 Mean and cov. values of measured parameters ON dvwn dvwni Strength Stiffness properties of the joints F max δ i δ e δ 06,mod δ 08,mod K i K s kn mm mm mm mm kn/mm kn/mm mean cov mean cov mean cov In Figure 4 load-slip curves are given corresponding to the test with the ultimate load closest to the mean value of the ultimate load, as well as the load-slip curves corresponding to the tests with the minimum and the maximum ultimate load for each one of the three test series.

6 Force (kn) dvwn dvwni 60 ON 30 Slip (mm) Figure 4 Load-slip curves obtained in the shear tests. The load-slip curves obtained in the tests clearly show the linear behavior of the joints up to de failure, which occurred in a brittle way for relative low deformations. Assuming a uniform distribution of the force in both shear planes of the test specimen and a uniform distribution of the stress in the whole shear area, it is possible to estimate the shear failure strength in each test (Table 2). Table 2 Mean values of the maximum shear stress in the notched joints F max f v,max cov. (kn) (MPa) ON dvwn dvwni The failure shear stresses obtained in the tests are lower than the average shear strength usually found for Spruce timber [3]. This indicates that the shear strength of the joint is likely to be governed by the strength of the glue line. 6 Discussion Holm oak versus dvw notch The test series with Holm oak showed worse performances than the ones made with dvw (Figure 5). The differences found for the value of slip modulus and ultimate load were around 40% and 60%, respectively.

7 Force (kn) dvwn ON 30 0 Slip (mm) Figure 5 Load-slip curves for the test series with dvw and Holm oak. These differences were probably caused by a number of reasons: the early cracking of the concrete member as described earlier, the different densities between the two materials (1200kg/m 3 for dvw and 900kg/m 3 for Holm oak), different behavior of plywood and solid timber or even the different surface finish between dvw and Holm oak. These phenomena probably contributed not only to decrease the ultimate load, but also to decrease the stiffness of the category with Holm oak. Interlayer The comparison between the results of dvwn and dvwni test series shows that the decrease in load carrying capacity for the configuration with interlayer is around 16%, while for the slip modulus it is around 34%. The larger thickness of the dvw block( 35mm instead of 15mm), could induce higher normal stresses in the glue line, leading to failure due to shear stresses associated with tension stresses. The decrease in the slip modulus has probably the same cause, since thicker notches probably cause higher shear deformations. Force (kn) dvwn dvwni 30 0 Slip (mm) Figure 6 Load-slip curves for the test series with and without interlayer.

8 These decreases are also clear from the load-slip curves presented in Figure 5. Similar tests were performed with dowel type fasteners [2], with and without interlayer in that case a similar decrease for the slip modulus of the joint with interlayer, but the decrease obtained for the ultimate load is only around half of the one obtained here. The comparison of these results with the results obtained with similar joints systems in other studies [2,4,5] shows that the notched joint presented here actually have similar or higher load carrying capacities and stiffness. These values may even increase if a dowel is added to prevent the uplifting, as was done by most of the researchers to the other notched joints. 7 Conclusions The notched joints presented here proved to have an excellent performance with respect to load carrying capacity and stiffness. For these reasons, they can be used to obtain very high levels of composite actions. On the other hand, they should be used with care when the required load capacity is close from their actual strength, because their failure is brittle and could lead to the failure of the whole composite structure also in a very brittle way. Generally, the whole load-slip behavior of the notched joints can be assumed as linear elastic. From the results of the notched joints it is concluded that, for a good mechanical performance, a proper glue line between timber and notch is essential. Regarding initial deformations, the timber or wood based materials used for the notch appeared to have significant influence; stiffer materials will result in stiffer joints. A possible influence of various concretes on joints with notches was not experimentally tested but is probably small, not only because no damage was found on the concrete near the notch, but also due to the higher deformability of timber when compared to concrete. The interlayer showed to reduce the stiffness by more than 34% and the strength by more than 8%. These figures are in line with results obtained in other research works for other types of joints with interlayer ([5],[6],[7]). 8 Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank the support provided by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), through the research project POCI/ECM/60089/ References [1] EN (1991) Timber structures - Joints made with mechanical fasteners General principles for the determination of strength and deformation characteristics. CEN. [2] A.M.P.G. Dias, Mechanical behaviour of timber-concrete joints. Ph.D. thesis, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, [3] Wood Handbook, Wood Handbook Wood as an engineering material. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, [4] Ballerini, M., Crocetti R., and Piazza, M. (2002) An experimental investigation on notched connections for timber-concrete composite structures. Proc. of 7th WCTE, Malaysia. [5] Van der Linden, M.L.R. (1999) Timber-concrete composite floor systems. Ph.D. thesis, Delft University of Technology, Delft. [6] Dias, A. (1999) Estruturas Mistas Madeira Betão. MSc Thesis, University of Coimbra, Portugal. [7] Gelfi, P., Giuriani, E., and Marini, A. (2002) Stud shear connection design for composite concrete slab and wood beams. Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol. 128, Nr.12, pp

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