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Civil-Comp Proceedings
ISSN 1759-3433
CCP: 63
Edited by: B. Kumar and B.H.V. Topping
Paper IV.5

Factors Affecting the Strength of the 14FTC-U Timber Space-Frame Connector

A. Zingoni

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe and Department of Civil Engineering, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Bibliographic Reference for this paper
A. Zingoni, "Factors Affecting the Strength of the 14FTC-U Timber Space-Frame Connector", in B. Kumar, B.H.V. Topping, (Editors), "Computing Developments in Civil and Structural Engineering", Civil-Comp Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp 113-121, 1999. doi:10.4203/ccp.63.4.5
The 14FTC-U Timber Space-Frame Connector is a new device that has been proposed for connecting together machined round timber members into either double-layer or triple-layer space grids. This connector has been described in detail in an earlier publication, where manufacturing details for the connector itself and assembly procedures for the space grids were also indicated. In the present paper, which is a follow-up on the recommendations of Reference [2], results of further experimental investigations on the influence of some of these factors (namely, strength grade of the wood of the core, type and number of metal screws connecting the metal U strips to the wooden core, orientation of the metal screws through the wooden core relative to the orientation of the grain of the wood of the core) on the strength on the 14FTC-U connector are reported. On the basis of a realistic loading arrangement for lightweight roofs, a 3-dimensional computer analysis of the forces in a medium-sized double-layer space grid is carried out, and it is shown that the 14FTC-U connector, when manufactured on the basis of the experimentally-established best combination of strength-determining factors, is capable of withstanding the largest computed pull-out force in the grid, demonstrating its viability from an engineering point of view.

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