The connection response of rocking timber walls

M. P. Newcombe

Structural systems that incorporate rocking timber walls are becoming more prevalent in New Zealand. This is due primarily to the application of new post-tensioned timber systems in several buildings and the increased use of solid timber construction in the form of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), Laminated Veneer Lumber, Gluelaminated timber (Glulam) and round wood throughout New Zealand. In the past, simplistic design approaches have been applied to determine the lateral strength of rocking timber walls, which do not assess the compression stresses in the timber. However, new rocking wall systems can introduce high axial loads (due to the application of post-tensioning or multi-storey gravity loads) that result in high compression stresses within rocking connections. Furthermore, for post-tensioned timber walls the tension in tendons (and hence the lateral strength of the wall) depends on the rotation and the length of the compression region within the connection. Therefore, more advanced analysis methods are required to evaluate
strength and material strains for these systems. This paper introduces a new approach for assessing the connection response of rocking timber walls. Using this approach, the depth of the compression region, the compression stresses in the timber and the moment capacity of a rocking wall connection can be more accurately determined. The design approach is calibrated using a finite element (FE) sensitivity study and is validated using experimental data.


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