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Open AccessArticle

Innovative Use and Characterization of Polymers for Timber-Related Construction

Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2010, 3(2), 1104-1124;
Received: 17 December 2009 / Revised: 4 February 2010 / Accepted: 9 February 2010 / Published: 10 February 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Composite Materials)
Timber gridshells have become a very popular, efficient, sustainable and beautiful structural application of timber. However, given the slender laths involved in this form of construction, there is concern over the durability of timber for this purpose, and Glass FRP (GFRP) laths have been proposed as a possible substitution. This paper considers this possibility. It goes on to look at the possible use of Basalt FRP (BFRP) for the same purpose, from the perspective of its creep characteristics. It is shown that the use of GFRP gridshells is a viable form of construction, and that enhanced durability characteristics of BFRP could lead to their adoption for gridshells, given that the creep characteristics of basalt fibres presented here are comparable to those of glass fibres. An altogether different form of timber construction is that of joist-and-floorboard. In the UK, there are thousands of historic buildings which use this floor construction, and a sizeable proportion of this building stock now requires upgrade, strengthening and/or stiffening to allow these buildings to be fit for purpose into the future. This paper goes on to consider the possible use of Carbon FRP (CFRP) to strengthen and stiffen such timber floors. It is shown that such strengthening and stiffening is entirely feasible, offering the potential for greatly enhanced stiffness, in particular. Further, it is shown that mechanical shear connection between CFRP and timber is best conducted using perpendicular-positioned screws, rather than raked screws. View Full-Text
Keywords: fibre reinforced polymers; creep; timber; basalt; gridshells fibre reinforced polymers; creep; timber; basalt; gridshells
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Darby, A.; Ibell, T.; Evernden, M. Innovative Use and Characterization of Polymers for Timber-Related Construction. Materials 2010, 3, 1104-1124.

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