Confirmation seminar presented by Yuhao Zhang

This project aims to understand how the timber moisture content changes produce the loss of performance of timber connections. Timber is a sustainable building material and is widely used in the construction of residential buildings in Australia. However, moisture changes are associated with a reduction in the mechanical performance of the timber.

Timber must be connected to build a structure, and timber connections are usually the weakest parts of a structure as they are designed to fail in ductile mode. The mechanical performance of timber connections is also negatively affected by timber moisture changes, which can represent a serious risk for the structures and also human lives.

While the effect of moisture on timber has been widely studied, the studies on timber connections are limited. Existing studies are focused only on correlating the loss of performance with moisture content changes, but the mechanisms that lead to this loss are cursorily explained.

Therefore, as a fundamental study, a simple fastener (nail) inserted in wood with uniform properties will be studied. The nail withdrawal capacity will be used as the mechanical performance to be investigated. The literature review has identified some mechanisms by which the loss of mechanical performance in timber joints can occur. These are wood relaxation, moisture-induced cracks, nail restriction and nail backout. To understand how the loss of mechanical performance of the connection occurs, this project proposes to investigate the influence of these 4 mechanisms, through a series of wood micro and macroscopic properties, and correlate them with the mechanical performance of the connection, while exposed to moisture changes.

About Confirmation Seminars

The purpose of the confirmation milestone is to ensure that the candidate receives appropriate feedback in relation to the viability and progress of the thesis project and that the resources required to complete the program of research within the recommended timeframe are available. It is also an opportunity to ensure that the candidate has demonstrated the capacity and capability to successfully complete the thesis in a timely manner.


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