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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Structural performance of rounded dovetail connections Tannert, Thomas


The structural performance of Rounded Dovetail Connections (RDC) has been studied experimentally and numerically to provide information needed for connection structural design. RDC are mainly used to transfer vertical shear forces, but test results show that they can carry considerable load in tension and bending. Geometric parameters, such as dovetail flange angle and dovetail height are shown to significantly effect affect the structural performance of RDC. Results show that it is impractical to determine a set of empirical equations to describe the structural performance of RDC based on basic wood material properties. RDC manufactured and tested with low and constant moisture content outperformed those evaluated under other climatic conditions, and test results demonstrate that RDC should be produced at low machine speed and with minimal a gap between the connecting members. RDC in laminated strand lumber have higher capacity and fail under larger deformations compared to RDC in western hemlock. A three-dimensional finite element method model is presented and validated with experimental tests. Good agreement is achieved between the load deformation response predicted by the model and the experimentally observed load deformation response. Therefore the model is deemed suitable for estimating the stresses needed to develop failure criteria. A failure criterion for the analysis of RDC is presented taking into account size effect in the strength of wood. Based on the experimental and numerical studies, a design equation for RDC is presented that provides the engineering community with a new design tool. Finally, self tapping screws as reinforcement have been studied and are shown to significantly improve the structural performance of RDC under vertical shear loading.

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