Damping in Nailed Joints of Light-Frame Wood Buildings


  • Anton Polensek
  • Kenneth M. Bastendorff


Nail joints, damping, stiffness, friction, cyclic loading, lumber, plywood, gypsum wall-board


Nail joints are not only the main source of damping in light-frame wood buildings during earth-quakes, but also provide the composite stiffness and strength. Twenty-one joint types with 15 specimens each were tested under fully reversed cyclic loading to characterize the damping and stiffness of typical construction joints. Generally, both properties decrease as the load increases. Among construction variables, lumber species affect these properties the most; the damping ratios of joints between Engelmann spruce and plywood are from 10% to 15%, while the corresponding values for Douglas-fir and western hemlock are from 20% to 40%. Other significant variables include angle between shear force and lumber grain, sheathing material, nail size, and surface friction between wood and concrete or steel.


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