The focus of this paper is to describe the idea and the theory behind a finite-element model developed for analysis of timber trusses with punched metal plate fasteners (nail plates). The finite-element model includes the semirigid and nonlinear behavior of the joints (nonlinear nail and plate elements) and contact between timber beams, if any (bilinear contact elements). The timber beams have linear-elastic properties. The section forces needed for design of the joints are given directly by the finite-element model, since special elements are used to model the nail groups and the nail plate area over the joint lines. The finite-element model is based on the Foschi model, but with further improvements. After the theory of the model is described, results from experimental tests with two types of nail plate joints are compared with predictions given by the model. The model estimates the behavior of the joints very well at lower load levels. At higher load levels the stiffness is overestimated due to development of cracks in the timber and the linear-elastic timber properties in the finite-element model.
Journal of Structural Engineering, 2006, Vol 132, Issue 3, p. 409-417
Finite-element method; Trusses; Joints; Nonlinear analysis; Timber construction