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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Composite action in mass timber floor and beam systems connected with self-tapping wood screws Natalini, Giulia


One of the challenges in mass timber construction is the design of efficient floor systems. This thesis focuses on studying composite T-beams, connecting Spruce-Pine-Fir Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels and Douglas-Fir Glued-Laminated timber (glulam) beams. In this study, three different types of self-tapping wood screws (ASSY SK, ASSY Ecofast, and ASSY VG), inserted at different angles, were investigated. Firstly, small-scale experimental tests were performed to investigate the strength and stiffness of the screws when submitted to lateral shear loads. It was found that the most promising fastener was the ASSY VG and that changing the angle of installation of the screws from 90° to the wood grain, to 45°, increased the strength and the stiffness of the studied connection. Secondly, full-scale composite beams experimental tests were completed to validate mechanistic-based and computational methods used to predict the effective bending stiffness of the composite T-beam. A degree of composite action achieved for the experimental T-beams was calculated through the studied methods. It was found that the studied T-beam achieved a moderately high percentage of composite action. Moreover, the methods were compared in terms of prediction accuracy, computational difficulty, required number of parameters, and versatility. Finally, parametric analyses were completed to gain insight into the structural performance of the composite beam when varying the number of CLT plies, the width of the CLT panel and of the glulam beams, as well as the length of the T-beam. Results indicate, conservatively, that the proposed connection, with a 3-ply CLT panel and a 130x190mm glulam beam, can be used to span 6m, maintaining a flange width of 2.8m. The results also suggest that with a 5-ply CLT panel and a 365x190mm glulam beam, it is possible to manufacture a 10m long T-beam that spans 3m laterally and supports live loads compatible with office use and occupancy.

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