Compressive Strength Properties Perpendicular to the Grain of Hollow Glue-Laminated Timber Elements

Polymers (Basel). 2022 Aug 19;14(16):3403. doi: 10.3390/polym14163403.


Timber is one of the fundamental materials of human civilization, it is very useful and ecologically acceptable in its natural environment, and it fits very well with modern trends in green construction. The paper presents innovative hollow glued laminated (GL) timber elements intended for log-house construction. Due to the lack of data on the behavior of the hollow timber section in compression perpendicular to the grain, the paper presented involves testing the compression strength of elliptical hollow cross-section glue-laminated timber specimens made of softwood and hardwood, as well as full cross-section glue-laminated softwood timber specimens. The experimental research was carried out on a total of 120 specimens. With the maximal reduction of 26% compared to the full cross-section, regardless of the type of wood and direction of load, the compression strength perpendicular to the grain of hollow specimens decreases by about 55% compared to the full cross-section, with the coefficient kc,90 equal to 1.0. For load actions at the edge and the middle of the element, kc,90 factors were obtained with a value closer to those obtained for full cross-section, which indicates the same phenomenology, regardless of cross-sectional weakening. At the same time, the factors in the stronger axis are lower by about 10%, and in the weaker axis by about 30% compared to those prescribed by the Eurocode. Experimental research was confirmed by FEM analysis. Comparative finite element analysis was performed in order to provide recommendations for future research and, consequently, to determine the optimal cross-section form of the hollow GL timber element. By removing the holes in the central part of the cross-section, the stress is reduced. The distance of the holes from the edges defines the local cracking. Finally, if the holes are present only in the central part of the element, the behavior of the element is more favorable.

Keywords: FEM; compression strength; glulam; hollow; innovative; perpendicular to grain; timber.