Three-Dimensional Modeling of Wood Moment Connections

Open Access
Leitner, Emma Jane
Graduate Program:
Civil Engineering
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
Committee Members:
  • Andrew Scanlon, Thesis Advisor
  • cyclic loading
  • wood
  • moment connections
  • three-dimensional
  • finite element analysis
  • fiber reinforcement
Small-scale wooden moment connections were tested under cyclic loading. These tests investigated the influence of the addition of fiber reinforcement and dowel spacing on the performance of the connections. A three-dimensional finite element model was developed as representative of these small-scale beam-column connections utilizing the finite element software ANSYS. Special emphasis was placed upon the definition of the wood material model utilized. An elasto-plastic anisotropic material model was defined, which was extended into transverse isotropy. Material testing in the form of dowel bearing, compression and tension tests was performed in order to determine the material parameters. The usage of a “foundation” model was assumed in order to more accurately represent the complex behavior of wood in compression. This “foundation” model was used to more accurately predict the non-recoverable deformation behavior, or “crushing” which occurs in the areas surrounding the dowels during loading. Material dowel bearing tests were used to determine the properties for this model. A general model utilizing the material properties determined from the material compression tests was used to define the material model in the remainder of the connection model. The three-dimensional finite element model was programmed to undergo the same cyclic loading as the original laboratory tests. Hysteretic loops and supporting data from the laboratory tests of the moment connections were used to validate the results of the computational finite element simulations. The results and shortcomings of this study are discussed in detail, and suggestions for improvements and further study presented.