With the rapid growth of the mass timber construction industry, the challenges of making the building process more efficient through constructability, sustainability, and compliance with performance-based design regulations, are as prevalent as ever.
A new experimental study conducted at UBC by Samuel Shulman and Cristiano Loss examines the behavior and performance of innovative hybrid shear connectors for hybrid cross-laminated timber (CLT)-based structural composites and assemblies. Their study proposes a new connection design method for hybrid steel-CLT structures that utilizes shear connectors fabricated by encasing steel rods in CLT panels using an epoxy-based grout.
The researchers performed a series of experiments on the connector to test its performance under different loading conditions. Ultimately, the findings encouraged the adoption of 24 M rods, selecting the grout diameter and steel grade in order to meet ultimate limit state requirements. High performance in strength and stiffness was also attained without altering the ductility of the system.
Through comprehensive reliability analyses of the novel hybrid shear connectors, Loss and Shulman discovered that the grout-reinforced shear connector has the potential to be a reliable and effective solution for improving the performance of hybrid steel-CLT building systems. The mechanical properties of the connector itself also supports reusability and sustainability in the construction industry. These findings pave the way for future advancements in mass timber construction, offering promising possibilities for designing and constructing high-performance timber assemblies.
This new research has received an open access grant from the Faculty of Forestry, which is awarded to open access publications with high potential impact.