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Keywords:

  • timber;
  • bolted connection;
  • fire tests;
  • laminated veneer lumber;
  • embedment strength;
  • charring rate

Abstract

This paper describes an investigation into the fire performance of bolted tensile connections in laminated veneer lumber (LVL) made from radiata pine. The capacity of the bolted connections depends on the embedment strength of the wood and on the yield moment of the bolts. The purpose of the research was to develop a prediction method for the time to failure of the connections when exposed to fire. An experimental investigation was carried out on the axial tensile strength of three types of bolted connections that utilized either wood or steel splice plates. Some specimens were tested at ambient temperatures while similar specimens were tested in fire conditions with a constant applied load. In addition, single-bolted connections were tested under constant elevated temperature conditions to determine the embedment strength of the LVL. Connections with no steel plates, or with steel plates slotted between the timber members, performed better than those with exposed steel. A simplified design approach is proposed, using an extension of the Johansen formulae, such that the embedment strength of the LVL depends on the temperature in the bolt. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.