Finite Element Analysis of Cross-halved Joints for Structural Composites

Elemer M. Lang, Tamas Fodor


The strength and stiffness of a notched, cross-halved joint was investigated using a three-dimensional finite element method (FEM). Composites involved in this research were laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and laminated strand lumber (LSL). The joint consisted of primary and secondary load-carrying elements notched and inserted into each other crosswise. A 3-D FEM technique predicted the deformations and stress developments under concentrated and distributed loads. Experimental validation of the model, based on deformation measurements, showed good to excellent agreement between predicted and measured values. Failure mode analysis revealed that the normal stresses (tension) control the performance of the joint.

The joint configuration can provide additional lateral stiffness and stability in structural applications including floor and roof systems. Furthermore, the in-plane moment resistance of the joint may provide better performance of such structures under dynamic loads such as earthquakes and excessive wind loads.


Wood-based structural composites;FEM;stress;deformation;joint

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