Experimental and numerical assessment of the bearing capacity of notches in timber beams at arbitrary locations using LEFM

Project ID: GA21-29389S
Funding provider: Czech Science Foundation
Investigator at UCEEB:  Ing. Jan Pošta, Ph.D.
Project duration: 1. 1. 2021 – 31. 12. 2023
Partners: Ústav teoretické a aplikované mechaniky AV ČR, v. v. iMendelova univerzita v Brně / Lesnická a dřevařská fakulta

The project will deal with a prediction of the bearing capacity of a timber beam with respect to crack initiation and growth that occurs due to presence of notches. To reach this goal both numerical model is to be developed and the material strain energy release rates of a common structural softwood – Norway spruce – in main modes will be determined using small scale experiments. To verify the prediction power of the numerical model, two hundred experiments of artificially notched beams of real scale will be tested under arbitrary loads. The project will result in knowledge and method for assessment of timber beams with cracks under complex loading. The key research questions of the project are:

(i) is it possible to use strain energy release rate obtained on small scale samples in real beams?

(ii) how is the fracture phenomena in timber beams influence by orientation of tree rings? Findings of the project are important for both research dealing with theoretical models and following and more applied fields such as civil engineering since both have missing gaps in this knowledge.