Background for finite element analysis and experimental testing of glued-laminated space beams

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Two straight and one curved Southern Pine glued-laminated beams are subjected to bending, bending and compression, and biaxial bending. The beams are tested at service loads and only one beam is loaded to failure. The analysis is performed by using the finite element program ABAQUS.

The 3-D beam finite element model used is formulated on engineering theory and includes shear deformations. The engineering elastic constants needed to specify the constitutive matrix of the beam element are obtained experimentally.

Strain measurements in wood with small bonded strain gages are not accurate. A simple clip-type transducer is fabricated and used to measure the strains in the test glulam beams.

The distribution of normal stresses is investigated for symmetrically applied concentrated loads. Experimental and analytical values agree very well.