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Experimental and numerical analysis of timber I-joists with cut-outs
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1  Hasselt University


This contribution presents the results of an experimental and numerical campaign evaluating the influence of cut-outs on the strength and stiffness of composite timber I-joists. These cut-outs are often introduced in the webs during the instalment of utility lines. The presence of these cut-outs will have an impact on the structural behaviour of the element. However, these influences are not taken into account in the current design standards. In order to evaluate the impact of the cut-outs, an experimental campaign was set up in which the structural behaviour of seven composite I-joist beam was analysed. The geometry and spacing of the cut-outs were varied along these seven beam elements. The experimental results clearly show the reduction in stiffness and the influence on the failure mechanism of the beam elements caused by the cut-outs. Additional to the experimental study, a numerical campaign in which the structural response of these I-joists is modelled is also performed. Nonlinear material behaviour is taken into account in the numerical models through the use of a gradient-enhanced damage model. Overall, good agreement is reached between the experimental and numerical data for the beam elements in the linear elastic regime. The ultimate load was also represented well by the numerical model for those elements which fail due to failure of the hardboard web.

Keywords: Timber engineering; Timber I-joist; Damage modelling