, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 1533-1550
Date: 31 Jan 2008

Performance of connections for prefabricated timber–concrete composite floors

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Timber–concrete composite beams and slabs require interlayer connectors, which provide composite action in the cross-section. A range of mechanical connectors is available on the market with an extensive variety of stiffness and strength properties, which are fundamental design parameters for the composite structure. Another crucial parameter is the cost of the connector, including the labour cost, that if too high may prevent the use of the composite system. In order to reduce the construction cost and make timber–concrete structures more widespread on the market, it is believed that a high degree of prefabrication should be achieved. For a simple and cost effective construction process, the use of “dry” connections, which do not require the pouring and curing of concrete on site, may represent a possible solution. This paper reports the outcomes of an experimental programme aimed to investigate a number of different mechanical “dry–dry” connectors previously embedded into a prefabricated concrete slab. Direct shear tests on small blocks made of a glulam segment connected with a prefabricated concrete slab were performed. The shear force-relative slip relationships were measured and all the relevant mechanical properties such as slip moduli and shear strengths were calculated. It was found that some of the new developed connection systems for prefabricated concrete slab can perform as satisfactorily as those for cast-in-situ slabs, with the additional benefit of being relatively inexpensive.