For a long time, the geometry dimensions of tenons have been designed through empirical methods, which is not beneficial to designers and manufacturers and results in more time spent in construction and a greater amount of waste wood materials. In this study, an optimal methodology of combining finite element analysis (FEA) with response surface method (RSM) was proposed to investigate the effect of tenon geometric dimensions (length, width, and thickness) on withdrawal and bending load capacities of mortise-and-tenon (M-T) joints, with the aim of making the design of wood products more scientific. The following results were concluded: (1) the effect of tenon length on withdrawal load capacity was greater than tenon thickness, followed by tenon width; (2) the effect of tenon thickness on bending load capacity was greater than those of tenon width, followed by tenon length; (3) it was concluded that the tenon length should be designed to be greater than the tenon width and smaller than twice the tenon width, especially, when tenon thickness was relatively thin; (4) quadratic models can be used to predict the withdrawal and bending load capacities of M-T joints relating the length, width, and thickness of the tenon; (5) the proposed method was capable of being used to optimize the tenon sizes and get more knowledge of M-T joints visually. This study will contribute to reducing the costs of time and materials, and it will result in M-T joints being designed more rationally.
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