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31-01-2020 | Original | Issue 2/2020

European Journal of Wood and Wood Products 2/2020

Capacity of innovative nailplated joints subjected to accelerated moisture cycling

Journal:
European Journal of Wood and Wood Products > Issue 2/2020
Authors:
A. J. Mainey, B. P. Gilbert, H. Bailleres, S. Gunalan, M. D. Smith
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Abstract

Nailplated timber trusses are widely used in residential housing. However, there is limited evidence of use or research on the application of nailplated trusses in exposed environments. It is common knowledge to the nailplated truss industry that weather-exposed trusses experience a phenomenon referred to as “nailplate backout”, where the nailplates separate from the timber surface due to the shrink-swell mechanism of the timber in response to its varying moisture content. This paper investigates the performance of innovative nailplated joints on: (1) stopping moisture-driven backout and (2) increasing the capacity of the joints, when compared to currently used joints, after exposure to severe moisture cycling. Three different experimental sets of joints were manufactured to achieve these outcomes, with Set 1 and Set 2 containing 100 splice and 100 butt joints while Set 3 had 40 splice and 40 butt joints. Sets 1 and 2 have a re-designed tooth profile where: (1) Set 1 combined a polyurethane adhesive with a modified nailplate tooth designed to allow the adhesive to penetrate the timber and (2) Set 2 implemented a hook in the middle of the nailplate teeth to grab the timber when the nailplate tries to separate from the timber, either from moisture induced backout or from loading. Polyurethane adhesive was also used in Set 3 but on an un-modified tooth profile. To evaluate the efficiency of the new nailplates, control joints with unmodified nailplates were manufactured for each set and tested. All joints were subjected to severe accelerated moisture cycles inside an air-driven kiln with the temperature being kept constant 70 °C and the relative humidity varied between 15 and 95%. The cycles consisted of a 7-h wetting and an 18-h drying period. For Sets 1 and 2, the tensile capacity of the joints was measured after 0, 3, 6, 9 and 12 moisture cycles, while for Set 3, it was only measured after 0 and 12 cycles. The backout was recorded after each moisture cycle for Sets 1 and 2 and after 12 cycles for Set 3. The average backout of Set 1 and Set 2 control joints after 12 severe cycles was 1.13 mm and 1.01 mm, respectively, while the addition of glue and a hook reduced the backout to 0.56 and 0.92 mm, respectively. In terms of capacity, the adhesive in Set 1 increased the capacity for the splice joints and butt joints by 43% and 13%, respectively. In Set 2, the hook only marginally increased the capacity of the splice joints by 13% and reduced the average butt joint capacity. Observations were made regarding the failure modes of the joints. The addition of the adhesive and hook to the nailplate teeth resulted in more joints failing due to the capacity of the timber rather than due to the nailplate separating from the timber during the tensile testing.

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