[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2019.
In many countries today, cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels are increasingly being
used in structural applications. CLT has many key advantages such as high strength-to-weight
ratio in comparison to other common construction materials, excellent sustainability
credentials, easy handling in construction, quick erection time, and good thermal
and sound insulation.
CLT exhibits complex behaviour; therefore, powerful theories are required to provide
a better understanding of the mechanical behaviour of CLT panels and to enable their
efficient and safe application in structural engineering. From that point of view,
developing theoretical and numerical solutions for the analysis of CLT panels is an
active research topic.
A CLT panel is a laminated composite panel and, from an engineering design point of
view, it can be considered as an orthotropic composite material with an elastic behaviour.
Existing analytical approaches for CLT panels have limitations in applicability and
accuracy. Hence, the State Space Approach (SSA) has the potential to improve the accuracy
and range of applicability over these existing methods. The SSA provides theoretically
accurate three-dimensional solutions that guarantee continuous transverse stress distributions
across the thickness of the plates. Also, the boundary conditions and the continuity
at the interfaces are satisfied (Ye, 2003). Thus, the research presented in this thesis
will investigate CLT panels using the novel application of this approach.
Before focusing on the specific application to CLT, the general SSA is explored for
simply supported orthotropic composite plates under different types of out-of-plane
loads. A new analytical solution by using the SSA for the case of a plate with three
sides simply supported and one free edge under different out-of-plane loads will be
developed and the derivations for the equations will be shown in detail. Note that
this is the first time the SSA formulation for this particular boundary condition
has been developed. For both the aforementioned and fully simply supported boundary
conditions, the results obtained by using the SSA are compared with existing experimental
works, various existing analytical approaches and numerical methods.
To provide more knowledge and understanding of this particular application, numerical
modelling of CLT using the Finite Element Method (FEM) via ABAQUS is conducted. Although
the FEM is very applicable in understanding the general structural behaviour of the
panel, it shows discontinuity of the transverse shear stresses at the interfaces of
each ply of the CLT since, in the case of solid elements, the transverse stresses
are obtained from the displacement field not from the equilibrium equations. Crucially,
the SSA overcomes this problem and shows continuous stress distributions between the
plies. Ultimately, this work shows that, for the boundary conditions examined, the
SSA provides an accurate and efficient way to capture the structural behaviour of
CLT panels subject to out-of-plane loads and can outperform some of the existing analytical
methods commonly used in practice.