Timber Projects for University Students

Possible University Research Topics – October 2015

If you are interested in any of the projects suggested below for student investigation projects, please contact Alastair Woodard for further information at  alastair.woodard@woodsolutions.com.au 

Area Sub Area  Topic  – Title/Brief Source  
Connections European Yield Model Evaluation of the Yield Moment of Australia dowel connectors to AS/NZS ISO 10984.1 Timber structures – Dowel-type fasteners – Part 1: Determination of yield moment – Specifies laboratory methods for determining the yield moment of dowel-type fasteners.  [Potentially many sub-projects here if dowel and wood groups are considered separately.] Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Connections European Yield Model Evaluation of the Embedment strength of Australian timbers to AS/NZS ISO 10984.2 Timber structures – Dowel-type fasteners – Part 2: Determination of embedding strength – Specifies laboratory methods for determining the embedding strength of solid timber, glued laminated timber and wood-based sheet products with dowel-type fasteners. Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Durability Preservative treated timber Service life calibration of AS1604 standard preservative specifications Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Durability Test Methods Development of accelerated durability test methods Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Durability Test Methods Development of test methods for existing timber structures.
In service evaluation of timber is a growing means of verifying durability specifications for timber, i.e. learning from existing structures. Some testing protocols are required to assist in the examination of existing timber structures.
Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Durability Design methods Further development of deterioration models for timber members/connectors Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Durability Connections Durability improvements in timber connection systems Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Building Construction systems Low grade building systems.
There is a growing mismatch between the quality of Australia’s Plantation Pine and the needs of Australian builders. An investigation of alternative building systems designed to better utilize the low quality wood  is required. Low quality wood is typically juvenile wood, quick growing, low structural properties, distortion prone and difficult to process.
Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Building Construction systems Review of initiatives to improve stick framing systems Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Fire Combustibility Evaluation of charring rates for preservative treated wood Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Building Movement Moisture induced movement in multilevel timber structures Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Properties Test methods Assessment of Shear Strength Test Methods for Structural Timber.
The current Standards Australia test method for shear strength has recognized deficiencies. Alternative test methods have recently been reviewed and a test program followed by an analysis of the results is required to evaluate the relative performance of a number of these alternative methods.
Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Properties Perp-to-grain Tension The perpendicular-to-grain strength of plantation pines.
The transfer of forces in timber joints can often generate stresses which are perpendicular to the grain of the timber.  A recent review of test methods has identified an improved test method for this property. The use of this method to establish the strength of various grades and sizes of plantation pine is required.
Geoff Stringer 08-October-2015
Connections Bracing Walls/Ceiling Diaphragms Investigate the shear transfer capacity of both Standard AS 1684 (Table 8.22) details and alternative details being used commonly by builders.  Colin MacKenzie 08-October-2015
Connections Tie-down to Ribbon Plates Uplift capacity of Triple Grips to Top Ribbon Plate.
Triple Grips are commonly used to tie trusses/rafters to ribbon top plates. The lower leg of the grips does not permit nails to go into the lower of the two plates and therefore uplift capacity may be dictated by the nominal nailing >< the top ribbon plate and the lower plate.
Colin MacKenzie 08-October-2015
Fire Glulam High temperature performance (fire) of polyurethane bonded glue laminated timber. Simon Dorries 08-October-2015
Durability Test Methods Development of a Standardised short term test to predict the in-service performance preservative treated products. Simon Dorries 08-October-2015
Connections Bolts Verification of AS1720.1 bolt capacities from original test data
Our current version of AS1720.1  is fitted to the graphs in the Pearson, Kloot and Boyd handbook (plus metricised and LSD modifications), and these in turn were fitted to data from the handbook by Langlands and Thomas, which is based on the data obtained by Langlands. At the moment, no one knows how the Langlands data was processed to obtain permissible stress design loads, ie we don’t know what factor of safety we have in AS1720.1 !  So we need someone to process the Langlands data to check/calibrate some existing ideas on how the original processing was done…….
Bob Leicester 08-October-2015
Fire Sealing Sealing of timbers through fire walls  – Allied to timber is the issue of fire rating and timber passing through fire walls
We  have a number of existing houses where timber under purlins went through brick  common walls on commonly titled properties.  When we tried to title them the common wall needs in SA to be brought up to current standards.  Rather than cutting and removing we have been sealing around the timbers with a fire rated sealant and relying on charring to stop the timber burning through.  Recently this was challenged and we had a fire test carried out.  The results were better that expected, but while done at a NATA testing facility they are for SAHT use only.  What I can say was that we used several different sized pieces of very old and dry Oregon and none charred past the face of the sealant at 65 minutes in a fire test where we had the timbers running through a brick wall. I think there is a project to look at sealing of timbers through fire walls from a new construction perspective to allow easy construction of timber party walls clad with fire rated material with floor and roof timbers fixed to the timbers before cladding which makes for easy construction.
Ron Lochert 08-October-2015
Connections Screws Screw Capacity
Current screw capacity figures were originally tested many, many years ago. The question is are they still current with today’s timber stock? Over the years we have seen the density of timbers decrease in general and are getting lower nailplate capacities. Wouldn t the same be for nails and screws& ? And on the flip side, there has been recent tests of some screws that generate capacities over double that stated in AS1720.1. See the attached. This 5.6mm screw has a shear capacity of 7.1kN in JD4. AS1720.1 give a capacity of around 2.5kN. I di
Matthew Smith 08-October-2015
Connections Screws Min penetration depth for screws.
The most common screw is a No14 batten screw. 6.3mm dia. AS1720.1 requires a min penetration into the first and second members of 10D and 7D. = 63mm and 44mm. Most timber construction consists of 45mm or 35mm timber. AS1720 does allow a reduced capacity down to 4D (25mm) but applying this capacity reduction to the above values further reduces the capacities. Testing should be done in 35mm timber. (as it was in the attached
Matthew Smith 08-October-2015
Connections Nails 3.05mm nails
The most common framing nail used on site is a 3.05mm nail which isn’t directly listed in AS1720.1. Yes, we can interpolate between nail diameter but 3.05mm is the main nail used on site so I feel it should be tested and capacities listed in AS1720
Matthew Smith 08-October-2015