Beech circular hollow laminated veneer lumber sections for temporary soil nailing applications

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Beech Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) circular hollow sections for use as
temporary geotechnical soil nailing systems are developed within this thesis. Due to their permanent subsoil cement embedment, combined with high water
saturation and permanent loading, the timber sections will lose strength and
stiffness over time. Taking into account a duration of load factor for permanent
loading of two years, it is recommended to reduce the short term tensile and
bending strength of beech circular hollow sections to be used as geotechnical soil nails by 80%. In addition to the determination of material properties on small, clear specimens and full-sized cross-sections, an appropriate surface gluing quality between the veneers is fundamental to this subsoil application of the permanently cement-embedded, engineered timber product. The circular cross-section geometry and the permanently high-alkaline environment of the structural member is not covered by presently standardised testing and conditioning methods for examining LVL surface bond line quality. Standardised test methods had to be modified to determine bonding parameters for the circular, hollow LVL sections. As cement grout ensures the bond between the wooden nails and soil for the mobilisation of a soil reinforcement effect, a reliable connection between cement and wood is required. However, soluble wood constituents may inhibit cement hydration in the contact surface between the timber nails and cement. Pull-off tests on clear LVL specimens with different cement and wood surface modifications as well as the results of large-scale push-out tests are therefore presented. But to permanently ensure the contact between the wood and cement, a high degree of saturation above wood fibre saturation is necessary to keep the hollow sections in a swollen state without moisture-dependent wood shrinking. As no publications of wood moisture development in subsoil were available, long-term tests were performed, measuring the moisture content of subsoil-stored LVL in dependence
on the soil moisture content, the suction and the precipitation during a time span of one year. Besides a negative cement influence on the material strength, a positive effect of cement coating on subsoil fungal destruction was realised,
resulting in a significantly increased lifetime of cement-coated wood compared to uncoated wood. For temporary soil nailing applications, fungal wood deterioration was found to be of minor importance. But the reduced material strength due to a severe alkaline attack of wood demands a re-consideration of current soil nailing design methods, usually based on a mechanical limit equilibrium analysis of a rigid body motion where just tensile forces of the reinforcement elements are considred, and accompanying forces like bending moments and shear forces are neglected. Distributed fibre optic strain measurements of a steel-reinforced soil nail wall during a time span of six weeks reveal considerable nail curvatures, which are negligible in the case of ductile soil nails with low diameters, but are a significant factor for beech circular hollow laminated veneer lumber sections of larger diameters and brittle material behaviour.
Original languageGerman
Place of PublicationGraz
PublisherNAWI Graz Geocenter
Number of pages340
ISBN (Print)978-3-900484-84-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

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