Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering

First Advisor

Mr. John J. Murphy


This thesis sets out to assess the behaviour of mechanically fastened timber-to-timber connections. The design aspects of timber connections are described in detail, with particular emphasis on nailed connections. The effects of inherent variations in timber properties on joint behaviour are also described.

The two types of connections considered were:

■ Corbel (cantilever);

■ Splice.

For each connection type, different nail configurations, nail diameters and shaft lengths were used. Testing undertaken was conducted to investigate the influence of a number of nail configurations on a connection’s initial stiffness. The test results, presented using moment- rotation curves are also used to validate the finite element model generated. The tests show the effect that different nail configurations have on the initial stiffness of the joint.

Eurocode 5 design calculations have been explained and an Excel spreadsheet developed to determine the elastic moment capacity of the connection considered. The force distribution of the nail groups was determined on the basis of an elastic analysis. The moment capacity of a specified connection can be determined as a result. Using this approach, the elastic moment capacity for each of the connection types considered was determined. A comparison between experimental test and Eurocode results is also presented.

LUSAS VI 4.7 software package was used to model the corbel-type connection. Preliminary modelling of a nail-to-timber and timber-to-timber interaction was carried out, considering the use of the slideline function and joint elements. The ability of the model to simulate the actual behaviour was investigated by comparing the models with experimental results.

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