Effects of joining systems and sheathing on the in-plane shear behaviour of modular composite wall systems

Priebbenow, Aidan (2021) Effects of joining systems and sheathing on the in-plane shear behaviour of modular composite wall systems. [USQ Project]

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The utilisation of modular buildings is expected to increase within the construction industry because of the many positive characteristics the technique possesses when compared to traditional construction techniques. At present, all modular buildings are constructed from traditional building materials, being either steel, concrete or timber. Fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) is a newer material within the industry that has an increasing number of applications as the primary material. This is because of its many favourable characteristics, including being low weight, high strength, non-corrosive and environmentally friendly. As both technologies have favourable characteristics, there has been an interest within the industry to combine the innovations and research the possible application of FRP in modular buildings.

The aim of this research is to understand the structural behaviour of a single framed FRP modular wall system when subject to in-plane shear. The parameters being investigated include the effects of sheathing, brackets and bracket configurations.

The adopted methodology used to gain an understanding of the in-plane shear behaviour was through experimental analysis. Four different specimens were tested, Specimen 1 contains a 2400 mm (H) x 600 mm (W) singular frame with four stain steel (SS) brackets, Specimen 2 contains a frame with glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) sheathing and four SS brackets, Specimen 3 contains a frame with sheathing and four angle brackets and Specimen 4 contains a frame with sheathing with two SS brackets (top load side and bottom non-load side) and two angle brackets (top non-load side and bottom load side). A racking test was performed for each specimen where load, deflection and strain data was recorded.

The experimental data found that the addition of sheathing in the wall system significantly increases the stiffness and strength of the specimen because of the additional restraint and load bearing capabilities that it provides. The stiffness increases 64 times from 0.0038 kN/mm to 0.25 kN/m and the load capacity increases 15 times from 0.45 kN to 6.9 kN. It was also found that the restraint the sheathing provides changes a fully compressive frame to having tension on the load side due to the loading and restraints creating a lifting action. Where sheathing is not present, deflection is extremely high, which leads to yielding in the bottom load side bracket however failure did not occur because of limitations with the testing equipment caused by the high deflection. When sheathing is present, the first point of failure is debonding between the sheathing and frame, followed by delamination of the bracket from the bottom member, critical failure then occurs through rivet pull out.

Similar to the sheathing, the bracket systems that provided higher restraint and load transferring properties also had an increased structural performance. Where four angle brackets were used compared to four stainless steel brackets, the increase in load capacity was slightly over double, with 14.8 kN and 6.9 kN respectively. A specimen with two angle brackets located at tensile connections and two stainless steel brackets at compressive connections was also tested. The findings reveal that the load capacity and strain at the point of major failure of the bottom load side bracket is extremely similar to the specimen with four angle brackets, suggesting that the brackets in tension are the governing brackets. The bracket in compression therefore do not affect the final structural characteristics, however they do affect the behaviour up to the point of failure. The different brackets and bracket configurations do not affect the failure behaviour of the specimen, with debonding occurring first, followed by delamination of the bracket from the base member and then either deformation or detachment of the bottom load side bracket.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Manalo, Allan; Sharda, Arvind
Qualification: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Civil)
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2023 03:46
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2023 01:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: building, modular, fibre reinforced polymer, FRP, structural behaviour, shear, sheathing
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/51827

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