Fracture analysis of glued laminated timber beams with a hole using a 3D cohesive zone model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Introducing a hole in a glued laminated timber (glulam) beam generally results in a significant decrease in load bearing capacity. Global strength is most often limited by perpendicular to grain fracture with crack initiation at hole periphery and crack propagation in the grain direction. Strength analysis and design is far from trivial, which is reflected by the lack of design criteria in contemporary engineering design codes. This paper presents nonlinear 3D FE-analyses of beams with a hole, carried out using a cohesive zone model based on plasticity theory. Results of numerical analyses are compared to experimental tests showing good agreement. Results of a numerical parameter study relating to beam width and growth ring pattern are presented, showing decreasing nominal beam strength with increasing beam width and that the beam strength is affected by the growth ring pattern. Furthermore, some analyses of the influence of different types of initial cracks are presented. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Wood, Glued laminated timber, Hole, Fracture, Cohesive zone modeling
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-195
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch