Quasi-static cyclic tests on seismic-resistant beam-to-column and column-to-foundation subassemblies using Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL)
This paper describes part of an extensive experimental programme in progress at the University of Canterbury to develop Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) structural systems and connections for multistorey timber buildings in earthquake-prone areas. The higher mechanical properties of LVL, when compared to sawn timber, in addition to its low mass, flexibility of design and rapidity of construction, create the potential for increased use of LVL in multi-storey buildings. The development of these innovative ductile connections in LVL, proposed here for frame systems, have been based on the successful implementation of jointed ductile connections for precast concrete systems, started in the early 1990s with the PRESSS Program at the University of California, San Diego, further developed in Italy and currently under further refinement at the University of Canterbury. This paper investigates the seismic behaviour of the so-called “hybrid” connection, characterised by the combination of unbonded post-tensioned tendons and either external or internal energy dissipaters passing through the critical contact surface between the structural elements. Experimental results on hybrid exterior beam-to-column and column-to-foundation subassemblies under cyclic quasi-static unidirectional loading are presented. The proposed innovative solutions exhibit a very satisfactory seismic performance characterised by an appreciable energy dissipation capacity (provided by the dissipaters) combined with self-centring properties (provided by the unbonded tendons) and negligible damage of the LVL structural elements.