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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Performance of laminated veneer wood plates in decking systems Lam, Frank C.F.


A new laminated veneer wood plate has been developed which is a specialty product intended for highly engineered end-use including flat bed truck and dry freight van trailer decking systems. The investigation described in this thesis represents the first known attempt to 1) develop a theoretical framework for evaluating the performance of laminate veneer panels in prototype dry freight van trailer decking systems, 2) develop a testing facility to generate an experimental database on these product through full scale testing, and 3) develop and model the fatigue behavior of this type of product through small specimen tests and damage accumulation laws. A structural analysis model has been developed to predict the structural behavior of a prototype decking system. A comprehensive database on the mechanical properties of 3.2 and 2.5 mm (gl and i6 inch) thick Douglas-fir veneers has been generated through experimental studies as input to the model. The database includes information on bending, tension, and compression strength properties, shear moduli of rigidity, ultrasonic transmission time, and connection stiffness. Analyses of variance has indicated that the mean strength properties of 3.2 and 2.5 mm thick veneers are significantly different for the parallel to grain direction but not significantly different for the perpendicular to grain direction at the 95% probability level. Statistical information and distributions parameters have been established for the various veneer strength properties so that simulations can be performed to model the strength properties of the veneers. A trailer decking load simulator test facility has been developed so that full scale testing of prototype dry freight van trailer decking systems can be performed. The experimental program has been divided into two phases: 1) static test program and 2) cyclic test program. Four prototype decking systems have been considered. The static test program has generated information on the structural behavior of the panels in the prototype system. Experimental results agree well with predictions from the computer model. The cyclic test program has generated information on the performance of the prototype system under fatigue condition. Information on the fatigue behavior of the panels in a system has been established from testing of small specimens in bending mode with the appropriate stress history. The relationship between the fatigue life and failure mode of the small specimen tests and the full size panels in system has been established. Damage accumulation laws have been developed from the small specimen tests results which provide a basis for evaluation of the fatigue behavior of the material in decking systems.

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