Journal

Seismic detailing of post-tensioned timber frames

Tom Armstrong, Tobias Smith, Andrew H. Buchanan, & Stefano Pampanin

This paper was first presented at the World Conference on Timber Engineering, Canada, August 2014

Post tensioned timber (Pres-Lam) technology has matured to the point where it is now transitioning from the laboratory to the construction site. During the onsite construction of Pres-Lam frames, the detailing of the beam column joint zone has proved critical in order ensure both cost effectiveness and excellent seismic performance. Careful detailing is considered fundamental to the commercial uptake of Pres-Lam frames. Previous experimental testing at the University of Canterbury has shown that these systems provide excellent seismic resistance, by combining energy dissipation and recentering, however this research was necessary to establish economical details for the beam column connection.

This paper presents the experimental testing of a number of full-scale beam column joint specimens. The design and performance of alternative energy dissipation and joint reinforcing solutions are compared. Each configuration was subjected to cyclic displacements up to 3% drift to evaluate the seismic performance in terms of energy dissipation, recentering and cyclic stability. Aspects of constructability and reparability are discussed including the ease of repair and possible deterioration of seismic performance. The results show that Pres-Lam frame structures are able to provide excellent seismic performance, provided that there is careful detailing of the beam column joint zones.

Vol 23 Issue 1

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