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Re: Wood beam splits

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For rational analysis, go back to basic deformables. You have a C shaped section, it's just that the missing part of the C is only 0" thick. You still have intact tension and compression areas, and you have shear transfer through a (semi-)defined area which has not separated. (Complications due to orthotropic materials and stress concentrations at crack locations notwithstanding).

Wood splits at the ends should need little analysis, short of some stress concentration hand waving at the fracture point if you want to go that far. The use of fasteners should be intended to prevent the crack from extending into areas where bending controls, as the loss of shear continuity will result in a loss of bending strength & stiffness via reduction in MOI.

Perhaps a related question...would anyone recommend the application of epoxy/adhesive in the split to help prevent further damage, i.e. extension of the crack due to cyclic loading? What about drilling the end of the crack? Are there any flaw propagation (fracture) analysis tools for wood? This sort of discussion reminds me why I like steel so much ;-)

At 05:52 AM 6/28/2004 -0700, you wrote:
Scott, Bruce,

Thanks for the help, this beam did turn out okay with checks along its length. It is split mid-height for about 8" at one end so I am recommending couple of lag bolts pre-drilled and driven through the crack. Now it will be evident that the beam has been "fixed" even though it doesn't need it.

And to reiterate, it sounds like wood splits still need some type of rational analysis to determine their affect on the beam's capacity even though there is no discussion of this effect in the standards.

Thanks for the info!

Jim Wilson, PE

Jordan Truesdell, PE

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