Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Determination of shear strength of timber joists by torsion testing.

Khokhar, Aamir Muhammad; Zhang, Hexin; Ridley-Ellis, Daniel



Jos� Ant�nio Santos


This paper presents an experimental investigation in which the torsion testing approach was employed to evaluate the shear strength of Sitka spruce and Norway spruce joists. Rectangular
structural size specimens of lengths ranging from 1.0 m to 3.6 m were tested using a 1 kN-m torsion testing machine. In order to determine the shear strength, specimens were tested until they either fractured, or exhibited pseudo-plastic behaviour under applied torque. The failure modes and the
correlation of shear strength and torsional shear modulus were also studied.
In current testing standards, the measurement of shear strength for wood is mainly based on testing small clear samples and on bending tests of full-size structural lumber. Tests on shear blocks do not account the influences of wood defects and therefore the test procedure underestimates the
heterogeneous nature of wood. In the bending test practice, the interaction of axial bending stresses and loading embedment with shear stress means it is impossible to obtain a state of pure shear.
By overcoming these problems using torsional loading, it was found that the characteristic shear strength of the wood in the tested joists was 166% to 200% higher than the published design values in EN 338 and the mean strength was 8% to 13% higher then the shear block based published values
in the USDA Wood Handbook.
The test joists fractured mostly at the middle with cracks propagating towards either the supports or to the top or bottom surfaces. However, combined tension shear and crushing failure modes were sometimes observed at supports. A correlation (R2 = 0.40) was found between the shear strength
and the shear modulus obtained from torsion tests. However, it appeared from this study that knots do not have substantial influence on the shear strength.

Start Date Oct 22, 2009
End Date Oct 23, 2009
Publication Date 2009-10
Deposit Date May 25, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 25, 2015
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Book Title Proceedings of COST E53 conference "Economic and Technical aspects of quality control for wood and wood products".
ISBN 978-989-96428-1-2
Keywords Torsion testing; strength; Sitka spruce; Norway spruce; joists;
Public URL
Contract Date May 25, 2015


You might also like

Downloadable Citations