Experimental Study of Prestressed Timber Columns under Bi-directional Seismic Loading
Structural members made of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) in combination with unbonded post-tensioning have recently been proposed, which makes it possible to design moment-resisting frames with longer spans for multi-storey timber buildings. It has been shown that prefabricated and prestressed timber structures can be designed to have excellent seismic resistance, with enhanced re-centring and energy dissipation characteristics. The post-tensioning provides re-centring capacity while energy is dissipated through yielding of mild steel dissipating devices.
This paper summarizes an experimental investigation into the seismic response of LVL columns to bi-directional seismic loading, performed as part of a research programme on timber structures at the University of Canterbury. The experimental investigation includes testing under both quasi-static cyclic and pseudo-dynamic protocols. The results show excellent seismic performance, characterized by negligible damage of the structural members and small residual deformations, even under the combined effect of loading in two directions. Energy is dissipated mostly through yielding of external dissipators connecting the column and the foundation, which can be easily removed and replaced after an earthquake. Since post-tensioning can be economically performed on site, the system can be easily implemented in multi-storey timber buildings