Structural Behavior of Notched Glulam Beams Reinforced by Means of Plywood and FRP

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Nowadays, timber is widely used in construction industry thanks to its availability and good properties. The use of solid (sawn) timber is not always proper since it is only available up to certain dimensions.

Therefore, the so-called Engineered WoodProducts (EWPs) have been introduced to cope with the different design needs of structures. The Glued laminated Timber (glulam) is a type of EWPs that consists of smallsections of timber laminates glued together to form beams and columns. Glulam can be manufactured in almost any size and shape; it can also be tapered or notched.

However, notching a beam at its end leads to a stress concentration at the re-entrantcorner of the notch due to the sudden change in the notched beam’s cross section. The concentration of shear and tensile stresses perpendicular to the grain can lead to a catastrophic brittle failure caused by the crack propagation from the notch corner. Crack opening due to tensile stresses perpendicular to grain is the most common failure at the notch corner and it is always taken into design consideration.

However,shear component is usually exists and must be also considered in design to guarantee the safety of the structure. Currently, only the normal forces perpendicular to the beam’s axis are considered in the design of the reinforcement in design handbooks. The aim of this thesis was to study the structural behavior of notched glulam beams reinforced by adhered plywood panels and FRP. The carrying capacity of the notched glulam beams at their ends is the main subject of this thesis.

In addition, a review of the notched beams design, reinforcements, and analysis theories are included. Experimental series of three point bending tests with notched glulam beams withdifferent configurations of reinforcement was carried out in lab. Deformations and forces were measured both with conventional techniques and with contact-free measurement systems – ARAMIS.

On the other hand, a simple model of two dimensional plane stress element has been created of the unreinforced notchedbeam in ABAQUS. The normal and shear stresses were calculated for a horizontalpath of 100 mm in length starting from the notch tip. Afterwards, the mean stresseswere determined for the same path and have been used in calculations. The Mean Stress Approach has been adopted in the hand calculations to calculate the crack length and the failure load according to the ABAQUS model.

Accordingly, the failure load was about 40 kN for the unreinforced beams. Also, Eurocode 5 has been used to calculate the failure load which gave a value of 20.2 kN for the unreinforced beams. The average maximum applied load in tests was 30 kN for the unreinforced beams while it reached about two and a half times this value for the CF-reinforced and the plywood-reinforced beams.
Source: Linnaeus University
Author: Fawwaz, Maha | Hanna, Adnan

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