Innovative use and characterization of polymers for timber-related construction

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Abstract

Timber gridshells have become a very popular, efficient, sustainable and beautiful structural application of timber. However, given the slender laths involved in this form of construction, there is concern over the durability of timber for this purpose, and Glass FRP (GFRP) laths have been proposed as a possible substitution. This paper considers this possibility. It goes on to look at the possible use of Basalt FRP (BFRP) for the same purpose, from the perspective of its creep characteristics. It is shown that the use of GFRP gridshells is a viable form of construction, and that enhanced durability characteristics of BFRP could lead to their adoption for gridshells, given that the creep characteristics of basalt fibres presented here are comparable to those of glass fibres. An altogether different form of timber construction is that of joist-and-floorboard. In the UK, there are thousands of historic buildings which use this floor construction, and a sizeable proportion of this building stock now requires upgrade, strengthening and/or stiffening to allow these buildings to be fit for purpose into the future. This paper goes on to consider the possible use of Carbon FRP (CFRP) to strengthen and stiffen such timber floors. It is shown that such strengthening and stiffening is entirely feasible, offering the potential for greatly enhanced stiffness, in particular. Further, it is shown that mechanical shear connection between CFRP and timber is best conducted using perpendicular-positioned screws, rather than raked screws.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1124
Number of pages21
JournalMaterials
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2010

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