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Published online 30 July 2013 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI: 10.1002/tal.1107

hybrid structures

Zheng Li1*,†, Minjuan He1, Frank Lam2, Minghao Li2, Renle Ma1 and Zhong Ma1

1

Department of Building Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, China

2

Department of Wood Science, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

SUMMARY

This paper presents ﬁnite element modeling and a parametric analysis of prototype timber–steel hybrid

structures, which are composed of steel moment-resisting frames and inﬁll wood-frame shear walls. A

user-deﬁned element was developed to model the behavior of the inﬁll wood shear walls based on the concept

of pseudo-nail model. The element was implemented as a subroutine in a ﬁnite element software package

ABAQUS. The model was veriﬁed by reversed cyclic test results and further used in a parametric analysis to

investigate the lateral performance of timber–steel hybrid shear walls with various structural conﬁgurations.

The results showed that the inﬁll wall was quite effective within small drift ratios, and the elastic lateral stiffness

of the hybrid shear wall increased when a stronger inﬁll wall was used. In order to ensure the structural efﬁ-

ciency of the hybrid shear wall system, it is beneﬁcial to use relatively strong timber–steel bolted connections

to make sure the shear force can be transferred effectively between the steel frame and the inﬁll wall. Copyright

© 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

KEY WORDS: timber–steel hybrid structure; shear wall; ﬁnite element method; lateral performance; load sharing effect

1. INTRODUCTION

As a renewable building material with carbon storage and low embodied energy characteristics, wood

is a preferred material choice in green/sustainable building construction. The trend is the expansion of

structural application of wood from small single-family low-rise residences to mid-rise/multistory

buildings. So over the past two decades, there has been many research on multistory timber buildings,

focusing on the structural system, seismic performance, ﬁre safety and non-structural effects (Ellis and

Bougard, 2001; Sakamoto et al., 2004; Buchanan et al., 2008; Ceccotti, 2008; van de Lindt et al.,

2010, 2011). There are several ways to explore multistory timber buildings, and hybridization is one of

them. Hybridization can combine the respective beneﬁts of different materials and can provide a variety

of solutions for different kinds of building systems. A multistory timber–steel hybrid building system is

studied in this paper. It is composed of steel moment-resisting frames, wood diaphragms and shear walls.

The wood shear walls are used as inﬁll walls in the steel moment-resisting frames, forming a timber–steel

hybrid shear wall system to resist lateral loads. Structural tests and computer modeling were conducted to

investigate the lateral performance of this kind of hybrid structure. For the computer modeling, a suitable

representation for the inﬁll wood shear wall in timber–steel hybrid structures is a key issue, as well as the

modeling of the entire structure’s performance.

Researchers have proposed some numerical models of varying complexities for wood shear walls. van

de Lindt (2004) introduced a series of numerical wood-frame models developed from 1982 to 2001. These

models paid special attention to the proper representation of the sheathing-to-framing connections, since

these connections normally govern the behavior of wood-frame shear walls. Foschi (1977) developed a

*Correspondence to: Zheng Li, Department of Building Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai, 200092, China.

†

E-mail: 09lizheng@tongji.edu.cn

1046 Z. LI ET AL.

ﬁnite element (FE) wood diaphragm model in which nonlinear spring elements with calibrated exponen-

tial force–displacement relationships were used to model nail connections. Foschi (2000a, 2000b)

improved the nail connection model by developing a mechanical-based model to simulate the response

of metal fasteners interacting with wood mediums. Dolan (1989) developed a detailed FE model to

simulate panel-sheathed shear walls. Three-dimensional nonlinear springs were used to model panel–

frame nail connections. He et al. (2001) and Lam et al. (2002) developed a detailed FE model,

LightFrame3D, to predict the static and dynamic responses of light wood-frame buildings. This model

was unique in its implementation of the mechanical-based representation of the load–deformation

characteristics of panel–frame nail connections developed by Foschi (2000a, 2000b), which is believed

to improve the accuracy and robustness of the model. Folz and Filiatrault (2004) developed a pancake

model CASHEW with the assumption of rigid diaphragms to simulate the seismic response of a two-story

light frame building tested under the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering

—California Institute of Technology wood-frame project. The load–deformation relationship of a

nonlinear shear spring was represented by some mathematical formulas. The mathematical formulas, such

as piecewise linear equations or exponential equations, can be explicitly deﬁned by ﬁtting load–drift

curves from a shear wall test or a detailed shear wall modeling result. The model was capable of capturing

the characteristics of wood shear walls under lateral loads.

Although several computational models for wood shear walls have been developed, commercially

available software still does not have the appropriate hysteretic element for nailed wood connections,

which may reduce the versatility of wood shear wall models. To solve the problem, Xu and Dolan

(2009) modiﬁed the Bouc-Wen-Barer-Wen hysteresis model, ﬁtted to a given loading protocol, to

represent the nail connections. The model was then embedded in ABAQUS through a user-deﬁned element,

and it was veriﬁed by the test results. With the help of user-deﬁned element, an oriented spring pair model

was implemented in ABAQUS by Judd and Fonseca (2005) to model nail connections in wood diaphragms

and shear walls. These two models are both a phenomenon-based description of the load–deformation

relationship of shear walls, and the loading and unloading paths of the spring under hysteretic loads need

to be deﬁned explicitly.

In this paper, a user-deﬁned element was developed based on the pseudo-nail wall model proposed

by Gu and Lam (2004), which is a mechanical-based model for nail connections and wood shear walls.

This element was further implemented in ABAQUS software as a subroutine to model the inﬁll wood

shear walls. The model was veriﬁed by reversed cyclic test results and then used in a parametric anal-

ysis to investigate the lateral performance of timber–steel hybrid shear walls.

ABAQUS (2006) is a general-purpose FE software package that provides a variety of element types to

model different kinds of problems. It also allows user-deﬁned elements, which are not included in the

ABAQUS element library. For example, a user-deﬁned element can be implemented as a subroutine

called UEL, which is programmed in Fortran language, and it works in the same way as the existing

elements in ABAQUS library.

In the timber–steel hybrid structure, the steel members were modeled by existing elements in

ABAQUS, and the inﬁll wood shear walls were modeled by a user-deﬁned nonlinear spring element.

Two full-scale one-story timber–steel prototype models (A and B) were designed and tested. The spec-

imens were both composed of a one-bay by two-bay steel moment-resisting frame, diaphragms and

inﬁll wood shear walls, as shown in Figure 1. The inﬁll wood shear walls were sheathed with oriented

strand board (OSB) panels on one side in specimen A, and the inﬁll wood shear walls were sheathed

with OSB panels on both sides in specimen B. Both specimens had three identical timber–steel hybrid

shear walls, and they are referred to as A-1, A-2 and A-3 in specimen A and as B-1, B-2 and B-3 in

specimen B.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1047

Figure 2 shows the typical timber–steel hybrid shear wall system. The steel moment-resisting frame

and the inﬁll wood shear wall served as subsystems in the hybrid system. Mild carbon steel Q235B,

conforming to Chinese Standard GB 50017-2003, was used for the steel moment-resisting frame.

The mechanical properties of the steel, as shown in Table 1, were determined through tensile coupon

tests. The cross-sections of H150 × 100 × 6 × 9 and H150 × 150 × 7 × 10 were used as beams and

columns, respectively. No. 2 and better grade spruce-pine-ﬁr (SPF) 38 × 140 mm dimension lumber

Yield point (MPa) Tensile strength (MPa) Elongation (%) Elastic modulus (MPa)

Column 273 433 35 1.90 × 105

Beam 260 400 32 1.87 × 105

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

1048 Z. LI ET AL.

was used as framing members for the inﬁll walls. The design values of the ﬂexural strength and

modulus of elasticity (MOE) of the lumber were 9.4 and 9700 N/mm2, respectively. The stud members

were spaced 406 mm apart. Performance rated 19/32 (APA panel grade) OSB panels, 1220 × 2440 mm

in-plane size and 14.7 mm in thickness, were used as the sheathing material for the inﬁll walls. The

panels were attached to the framing members with 82-mm-long × 3.8-mm-diameter spiral nails spaced

at 150 mm on panel edges and 300 mm in ﬁeld. The nominal fastener yield strength for the nails was

851 MPa, according to ASTM-F1575 (American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), 2003).

Bolts and anchor bolts with a grade of 8.8 (equivalent to ASTM A325 bolts) were used as fasteners

for the specimens. The middle loading point (point 3) was subjected to twice as much force as that

of points 1 and 5.

Inﬁll wood shear walls are important structural components in providing the lateral resistance for

timber–steel hybrid structures; therefore, proper representation of shear wall characteristics is essential

to accurately capture the seismic response of the entire structure. A variety of FE models, simpliﬁed

and detailed, have been developed to study the structural behavior of the wood shear walls.

For detailed FE models, plate elements have generally been used to model sheathing panels, beam

elements to model frame members, linear springs to model the framing connections and nonlinear

spring elements with calibrated parameters based on connection testing to model the nail connections.

Some of these detailed models can satisfactorily address the characteristics of wood shear walls.

However, there will be a large number of nonlinear spring elements in the FE model for a detailed

shear wall model. This may result in too much computational effort. Therefore, a simpliﬁed shear wall

model was needed.

In this study, the inﬁll wood shear walls were modeled ﬁrst with WALL2D software (developed by

Li et al., 2012). The data obtained from WALL2D were used to calibrate a simpliﬁed shear wall

model. We then implemented the simpliﬁed shear wall model into ABAQUS through UEL to consider

the contribution of the inﬁll wood shear walls in timber–steel hybrid structures.

2.3.1. Detailed and simpliﬁed shear wall models

WALL2D shear wall program was used for the detailed modeling of inﬁll wood shear walls. WALL2D

(Li et al., 2012) implements a hysteretic algorithm (HYST) to represent the behavior of panel–frame

nail connections. Figure 3 shows a typical panel–frame nail connection commonly used in wood shear

walls. In the HYST algorithm, a nail is modeled by a series of elastoplastic steel beam elements with a

speciﬁed yielding strength and MOE. The surrounding embedment medium is modeled as nonlinear

compression-only springs with an exponential force–deformation relationship, p(w). Five parameters

(Q0, Q1, Q2, K0 and Dmax) are used to deﬁne p(w), as shown in Equation (1):

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1049

(

pðwÞ ¼ ðQ0 þ Q1 wÞ 1 eK 0 w=Q0 if w≤D max

2

(1)

pðwÞ ¼ P max eQ3 ðwD max Þ if w≥D max

where

logð0:8Þ

P max ¼ ðQ0 þ Q1 D max Þð1 eK 0 D max =Q0 Þ and Q3 ¼

½ðQ2 1:0ÞD max 2

It is assumed that the compressive behavior shows a peak (Pmax), followed by a softening trend.

Thus, p(w) is represented by two exponential curves meeting at the peak load, as shown in Figure 4.

K0 is the initial stiffness of the embedment relationship; Q0 and Q1 are the intercept and slope of the

asymptote, respectively, as deformation w tends to inﬁnity. However, w is constrained to not exceed

a maximum (Dmax), at which p(w) reaches Pmax. Q2 gives the fraction of Dmax at which the pressure

drops to 0.8 Pmax during the softening phase.

Li et al. (2012) also modiﬁed the algorithm by introducing a reduced stiffness (KRL) during

reloading. It is assumed that reloading from point B follows a straight line and with reduced stiffness

KRL, which is related to the initial K0 and the gap size (D0), as given in Equation (2):

8

< K RL ¼ K 0

α

if w≤Dy

Dy (2)

: K RL ¼ K0 if w≥Dy

D0

where Dy = Q0/(K0 Q1), corresponding to a yielding deformation given by the intersection of the

original slope and the asymptote in Figure 4.

Equation (2) speciﬁes that the adjustment from K0 to KRL depends on D0, the current gap and a

stiffness degradation exponent (α). In accordance with the modiﬁcation, the loading from point B will

proceed until point C. Subsequent unloading from point C will follow the original stiffness K0 until

point D is reached, resulting in a new gap of magnitude, D0′.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

1050 Z. LI ET AL.

Cyclic loading tests were conducted to obtain the load–deformation relationships for panel–frame

nail connections. The test setup is shown in Figure 5. The test results were used to calibrate the HYST

parameters by means of an optimization algorithm, and the calibration results are listed in Table 2.

Because the behavior of a wood shear wall is mostly governed by the behavior of nail connections,

the hysteretic response from a wall and that from a nail connection show great similarities in charac-

teristics as strength/stiffness degradation and pinching effect, except that the loads and deformations

are of different magnitude. Thus, the HYST algorithm can be used as if the wall was modeled by a pair

of diagonal nonlinear springs as shown in Figure 6. To model the shear wall behavior, the required

Embedment parameters SPF OSB sheathing

Q0 (kN/mm) 0.357 0.236

Q1 (kN/mm2) 0.011 0.014

Q2 (ratio) 2.6 2.6

K0 (kN/mm2) 2.242 0.9

Dmax (mm) 4.393 2.197

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1051

parameters in the HYST algorithm must be calibrated based on the backbone curve of the wall. Once

calibrated for this purpose, the algorithm represents the wall as a ‘pseudo nail’ shear wall model. Using

the pseudo-nail approach, Li and Lam (2009) studied the asymmetric behavior of diagonal-braced

walls, and Li et al. (2009) studied the seismic reliability of diagonal-braced walls and structural-

panel-sheathed walls.

2.3.2. User element for modeling inﬁll wood shear walls

The performance of nailed connections was coupled about two orthogonal directions. An oriented

spring pair model, as shown in Figure 7, was proposed by Judd and Fonseca (2005). In the oriented

spring pair model, each nailed connection is represented using two nonlinear springs. The springs are

oriented using the initial linear deformation trajectory of the connection. Ku is the tangent stiffness of

the nonlinear spring along the initial moving trajectory, and Kv represents the tangent stiffness in the

orthogonal direction, which is perpendicular to the initial trajectory. In this study, the pseudo-nail model,

which was embedded in ABAQUS using UEL, was used for both springs. The user element had two nodes

connected by a nonlinear spring. There were three translational degrees of freedom at each node. The

nonlinear spring was assumed to deform only in the plane of the wood shear wall and along a primary

direction, at an angle (ϕ) to the axis of the connected framing member. This angle was determined by a

pre-run static analysis and remained the same throughout the wall cycling. The out-of-plane deformation

of the wood shear wall was restrained, and the stiffness in the Z-direction of the nonlinear spring element

was assumed to be 1, in order to avoid zero values in the diagonal line of the element stiffness matrix.

Equation (3) gives the user element stiffness matrix under a global coordinate system. For each

incremental step at a speciﬁed displacement, the user element stiffness matrix was calculated by the

pseudo-nail model, and these data were transferred to the main ABAQUS program to form the global stiff-

ness matrix. If the iteration converged, the new displacement was transferred back to the pseudo-nail

model to calculate the corresponding element stiffness matrix for the next incremental step.

2 3

K 11 K 12 K 13 K 11 K 12 K 13

6 7

6 K 22 K 23 K 12 K 22 K 23 7

6 7

6 K 13 K 23 K 33 7

6 K 33 7

K¼6 7 (3)

6 K 11 K 12 K 13 7

6 7

6 K 23 7

4 sym K 22 5

K 33

K 11 ¼ K u cos2 ϕ þ K v sin2 ϕ

K 12 ¼ K u cosϕ sinϕ K v cosϕ sinϕ

where

K 22 ¼ K u sin2 ϕ þ K v cos2 ϕ

K ij ¼ 1 if i ¼ 3 or j ¼ 3

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

1052 Z. LI ET AL.

Figure 8 shows the load–displacement responses obtained from the detailed and simpliﬁed FE models.

The wood shear wall in the models was the same as that used in the timber–steel hybrid structure

experimentally tested. The results show good agreements in the load–displacement response and

energy dissipation properties. The simpliﬁed model was capable of capturing the lateral load resisting

characteristics of the wood shear walls, and it was further used to model the inﬁll wood shear walls in

the FE model for the timber–steel hybrid structures.

In timber–steel hybrid structures, the inﬁll wood shear walls and steel moment-resisting frames serve as

two subsystems that work together to resist lateral loads. The connection between wood and steel is a key

issue in ensuring that the shear force can transfer along the interface between the inﬁll wall and the steel

frame. In the test specimen, the top plate and end studs of the inﬁll wood shear wall were connected to

the steel frame by bolts. Monotonic testing was conducted to obtain the load–displacement response of

the bolted connection. Figure 9 presents the test setup, and Figure 10 shows the average load–slip curve

from the tests. The load–displacement data served as input for the multilinear springs that were used to

model the bolted connections in ABAQUS.

There was friction and compression stress along the interface between the inﬁll and the frame due to

their contact. As little relative displacement between wood and steel was observed, the magnitude of

friction was negligible compared with the shear force in the bolt connections. The compression

between the wood and the steel was modeled by linear springs.

It is well recognized that the in-plane stiffness of horizontal diaphragms affects the distribution of

lateral forces among the underlying walls in a building. In this FE model, the in-plane stiffness of

diaphragms was considered by equivalent diagonal braces (truss bar elements) with calibrated cross-

sections, which signiﬁcantly reduced the number of degrees of freedom.

In this study, specimen A had a light wood-frame diaphragm, whereas a wood-based hybrid

diaphragm was adopted in specimen B. The in-plane stiffness of the light wood-frame diaphragm was

calculated using the FE approach, and the in-plane stiffness of the wood-based hybrid diaphragm was

obtained from monotonic test. The test setup is shown in Figure 11. The diagonal braces were calibrated

to be 50 mm × 50 mm SPF lumber for the light wood-frame diaphragm and 65 mm × 65 mm SPF lumber

for the wood-based hybrid diaphragm. The diagonal braces were pin connected with the steel beam

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1053

nodes in the FE model. Figure 12 shows the load–deﬂection curves of the equivalent diagonal braces and

that obtained from test or accurate numerical simulation. The results showed that the behavior of the

diaphragm could be addressed well by the equivalent diagonal braces.

The FE model of the entire structure is shown in Figure 13. In order to simulate detailed characteristics

of the steel frame, the four-node bilinear plane stress element with reduced integration (S4R) was

adopted for steel beams and columns. The beam–column connection of the steel frame is shown in

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

1054 Z. LI ET AL.

Figure 12. Veriﬁcation of equivalent diagonal braces for diaphragms. (a) Light wood-frame dia-

phragm and (b) wood-based hybrid diaphragm.

Figure 14. The top and bottom ﬂanges of the beam were welded to the column, and the web of the

beam was attached to the column by two M16 bolts. In this way, the beam–column connection was

assumed as fully rigid in the FE model. Each inﬁll wood shear wall was modeled by a pair of

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1055

pseudo-nail nonlinear springs. Multilinear spring (SPRING-Nonlinear) and linear spring (SPRING2)

elements, both of which are available in the ABAQUS element library, were used to model the bolt con-

nections and the compression between the wood and the steel. The SPRING2 element is a linear spring

element with a ﬁxed stiffness. For its compression branch, a stiffness of 4.5 kN/mm was assumed

according to the modulus of the elasticity perpendicular to grain of SPF (Kretschmann, 2010 Wood

Handbook). Displacement loading was applied on the FE model, and implicit analysis with a very

small time step of 0.005 was adopted.

3. MODEL VALIDATION

The test results in He et al. (2013) were used to verify the FE model. The FE model was subjected to

the same loading protocol as that used in the test. The model predictions of load–displacement hyster-

esis and energy dissipation were compared with test results, as shown in Figures 15 and 16. The pre-

dictions agreed reasonably well with the test results for both single-sheathed and double-sheathed

specimens. However, it should be noted that the FE model did not account for the observed strength

degradation in the last three loading cycles. This was because the fracture of the steel beam–column

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

1056 Z. LI ET AL.

Figure 15. Model predictions of hysteresis loops versus test results. (a) Hybrid shear wall with single-

sheathed inﬁll, A-2, and (b) hybrid shear wall with double-sheathed inﬁll, B-2.

weld in these cycles had not been considered in the FE model. As a result, the model overestimated the

peak loads and energy dissipations for these cycles.

The total lateral force applied to the specimen was resisted by three identical timber–steel hybrid shear

wall systems, and the diaphragm effect inﬂuenced the distribution of shear force among them. The

shear force resisted by the three timber–steel hybrid shear walls was obtained directly from the test,

and not too much difference among them was found, which indicated that the diaphragm was stiff

enough to transfer lateral load and behaved more like a rigid diaphragm. In the timber–steel hybrid

shear walls, the lateral load was simultaneously resisted by the steel moment-resisting frame and the

inﬁll wood shear wall. The load sharing effect between the two subsystems is important for the eval-

uation of the overall lateral performance of the hybrid structure. The shear force resisted by the steel

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1057

Figure 16. Model predictions of energy dissipation versus test results. (a) Hybrid shear wall with

single-sheathed inﬁll, A-2, and (b) hybrid shear wall with double-sheathed inﬁll, B-2.

frame was obtained directly through strain gages on the steel columns in the experiment, and the shear

force resisted by the inﬁll wood wall was obtained by subtracting the shear force in the steel frame

from the total applied force.

The model predictions of the shear forces resisted by the two subsystems versus test results for tim-

ber–steel hybrid shear wall A-2 are shown in Figure 17. Based on the load–displacement loops of the

individual subsystems, the percentage of the shear force in each subsystem was also obtained, as

shown in Figures 18. The inﬁll wood shear walls resisted most of the shear force at the initial loading

cycles. The predictions of the FE model agreed well with the test results.

The lateral performance of the timber–steel hybrid shear wall showed an integrated effect of the steel

frame and the inﬁll wood shear wall. Therefore, the load sharing characteristics between them have a

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

1058 Z. LI ET AL.

Figure 17. Model predictions of the shear forces resisted by the subsystems versus test results. (a)

Shear force in steel moment-resisting frame and (b) shear force in inﬁll wood shear wall.

major impact on the entire wall performance. A parametric study on timber–steel hybrid shear walls

with different relative lateral inﬁll-to-frame stiffness ratios was conducted. The lateral stiffness ratio

(R) is deﬁned as Equation (4):

where Kwood = 0.4Pwood/Δwood and Ksteel = 0.4Psteel/Δsteel, Pwood is the maximum absolute load resisted

by the wood shear wall in its envelope (kN) and Δwood is the displacement of the top edge of the wood

shear wall at 0.4Pwood (mm); Psteel is the maximum absolute load resisted by the steel frame in its

envelope (kN) and Δsteel is the displacement of the top edge of the steel frame at 0.4Psteel (mm).

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1059

One piece of timber–steel hybrid shear wall (A-2), instead of the entire structure, was modeled. The

cross-sections of the steel frame were the same as those in the experiment, while four different nail/

sheathing patterns were considered. The relative lateral inﬁll-to-frame stiffness ratios with these nail/

sheathing patterns are listed in Table 3. The lateral stiffness curves were utilized to measure the

contribution share of the inﬁll wood shear wall in resisting lateral loads. The stiffness was calculated as

the load resisted by the shear wall divided by its corresponding drift. The stiffness curves of the hybrid

shear wall systems with different values of R are given in Figure 19. The stiffness curves of the bare steel

frame and the bare wood wall, with the same conﬁguration as used in the test, were also given in Figure 19.

In comparison with bare steel frames, inﬁll walls considerably improved the lateral stiffness. In

particular, the initial lateral stiffness of the hybrid shear wall increased when stronger inﬁll walls were

used. However, with the strength/stiffness degradation of the inﬁll walls progressed, the stiffness

curves tended to converge towards each other.

Figure 20 shows the percentages of load-carrying contribution of the inﬁll wood shear walls at

different drift ratios. The results show a very high contribution from the inﬁll walls up to a drift ratio

of around 0.5%. Thereafter, the curves start to ﬂatten until they become horizontal at around the drift

ratio of 1.5%. Stronger inﬁll walls led to higher lateral load capacities of the hybrid system throughout

all the different drift ratios. The inﬁll shear walls were particularly effective during the initial stages of

loading and carried a major part of the lateral load. The magnitude of the shear force carried by the

Table 3. Nail/sheathing patterns for different relative lateral inﬁll-to-frame stiffness ratios.

Nail spacing

R Nail type Sheathing pattern Edge Interior stud

a

0.6 CN50 One side 150 300

2.5 12d common nailb One side 150 300

4.0 12d common nail One side 75 300

7.5 12d common nail Both sides 75 300

Note:

a

CN50 nail conforms to the Japanese Industrial Standards, with 50 mm in length and 2.87 mm in diameter.

b

12d common nail conforms to ASTM F1667-11a (Standard Speciﬁcation for Driven Fasteners: Nails, Spikes, and

Staples), with 82 mm in length and 3.8 mm in diameter.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

1060 Z. LI ET AL.

Figure 19. Stiffness drift curves of the hybrid shear wall systems with different lateral stiffness ratios (R).

Figure 20. Percentage of shear force in inﬁll walls with different lateral stiffness ratios (R).

inﬁll wall did not experience a sharp loss, due to its high ductility. The magnitude of the shear force

carried by the inﬁll wall beyond the drift ratio of 1.5% did not change much.

From the perspective of seismic design, minor earthquake energy can be easily dissipated by the

inﬁll walls within small drift ratios (<0.5%). In moderate earthquakes, the inﬁll walls will show some

nonlinear characteristics, while the frame members will remain almost elastic. This is ideal, since the

structures will remain in a state of immediate occupancy with limited deformations; and, if necessary,

the inﬁll walls can be easily repairable. In severe earthquakes, the inﬁll walls will carry a certain

part of the shear force and dissipate noticeable energy via nail connections. Plastic hinges may also

form in the steel frame members. The structure may suffer damages but will show a relatively high

ductility, as were observed in the tests and the computer modeling.

The shear force was mainly transferred via bolted connections along the interface between the inﬁll

wall and the steel frame. In the experiment, the connections were stiff enough to ensure the two

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1061

Figure 21. Percentage of shear force in inﬁll walls with different connection stiffnesses.

subsystems to resist lateral loads together. However, the load sharing effect may change if weaker bolt

connections were used.

The lateral performance of the timber–steel hybrid shear walls with different connection stiffnesses

was investigated using the developed FE model. Fourteen M14 bolts, with two placed in a row and row

spacing of 360 mm, were used to connect the top plate of the inﬁll wall to the steel frame in the

experiment. This bolt arrangement was set as the benchmark case. The load–slip curve of the bolted

connection was scaled down to 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 of the benchmark case to consider the inﬂuence of

different connection stiffnesses.

The percentages of the shear force carried by the inﬁll walls with lateral stiffness ratio of 4.0 and

various connection stiffnesses are given in Figure 21. The magnitudes of the shear force in the steel

frames were almost the same for the four cases; therefore, changes in the bolt connection stiffnesses

mainly led to different inﬁll wall behavior. Within a drift ratio of 0.5%, the percentage of the shear

force in the inﬁll wall dropped as the connection stiffness decreased. It dropped about 27% when

the connection stiffness was set to 1/8 of its original magnitude. The curves also showed a convergent

tendency after the drift ratio of 1.0%.

It was found that, if the bolt connections were stiff enough to transfer a shear force equal to the

lateral load-carrying capacity of the inﬁll wall, the inﬁll wall could take full effect to resist lateral loads.

However, when weaker bolt connections were used, the shear force was transferred not only by the

bolt connections but also through the compression effect due to the contact between wood and steel.

This reduced the stiffness and lateral load capacity of the hybrid shear wall system.

5. CONCLUSIONS

This paper presents computer modeling on the lateral performance of timber–steel hybrid structures. A

FE model was established in ABAQUS FE software package. A user-deﬁned element was developed to

model the inﬁll wood shear walls based on a simpliﬁed shear wall model and implemented as a

subroutine in ABAQUS software. The developed FE model was veriﬁed by the test results. The model

predictions agreed reasonably well with the test results for both single-sheathed and double-sheathed

specimens, including the load sharing effect between the inﬁll wall and the steel frame.

The FE model was further used in a parametric analysis. It was found that the initial lateral stiffness

of the hybrid shear wall increased when stronger inﬁll walls were used. However, with the strength/

stiffness degradation of the inﬁll walls, occurring at increased drift ratios, the lateral stiffness of the

hybrid shear walls with different inﬁll walls tended to converge towards each other.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

1062 Z. LI ET AL.

In seismic design, minor earthquake loads can be carried by the inﬁll walls within small drift ratios

(<0.5%). In severe earthquakes, the inﬁll walls will carry a certain part of the shear force and dissipate

noticeable energy via nail connections. Plastic hinges may also form in the steel frame members. The

structure may suffer damages, but the hybrid system shows a relatively high ductility, as observed in

the tests and the computer modeling.

The connection between the inﬁll wall and the steel frame is a key issue to ensure the structural

efﬁciency of such a hybrid system. It is recommended to use relatively strong timber–steel bolted

connections to make sure the shear force can be transferred effectively between the steel frame and

the inﬁll wall.

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Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

FE MODELING AND PARAMETRIC ANALYSIS OF TIMBER–STEEL HYBRID STRUCTURES 1063

AUTHORS’ BIOGRAPHIES

Zheng Li is a PhD candidate in the Department of Building Engineering in Tongji University. His

research interests focus on the lateral force resisting system in timber–steel hybrid structures.

research interests include the performance of timber-based hybrid structures, light wood-frame

constructions, and steel tower and mast structures.

Frank Lam is a Professor in the Department of Wood Science in the University of British Columbia.

His main research interests are in the development of fundamental knowledge on the performance of

solid sawn timber, wood-based composites and engineered wood systems.

Minghao Li is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Wood Science in the University

of British Columbia. His main research interests are in the structural behavior of solid wood, wood

composites and connections, and seismic performance of wood shear walls and buildings.

Renle Ma is a Professor in the Department of Building Engineering in Tongji University. His research

interests include steel tower and mast structures, wind turbine towers and timber-based hybrid

structures.

Zhong Ma is a PhD candidate in the Department of Building Engineering in Tongji University. His

research interests focus on the ﬂoor system in timber–steel hybrid structures.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Struct. Design Tall Spec. Build. 23, 1045–1063 (2014)

DOI: 10.1002/tal

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