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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Effect of decay on shear performance of dowel-type timber joints

A Correction to this article was published on 27 November 2018


Monotonic and reversed cyclic loading tests were conducted on dowel-type timber joints with varying degrees of wood decay due to Fomitopsis palustris (Berk. et Curt.), a brown rot fungus, and the effect of decay on various shear performances of dowel-type joints was investigated. For joints affected by the brown rot fungus, the initial stiffness, yield load, and maximum load of dowel-type joints were significantly decreased, even with a small mass loss of wood. The reductions in shear performance were the largest for initial stiffness, followed by yield load and maximum load, in that order. For a 1% reduction of the yield load, initial stiffness and maximum load showed reductions of 1.15% and 0.77%, respectively. When dowel-type joints that had been exposed to the brown rot fungus were subjected to reversed cyclic loading, the gap between the dowel and the lead hole of the wood was increased and equivalent viscous damping was decreased. These results indicate that decay around the dowel lead hole especially affects the load-displacement behavior at small displacement level, and dowel-type joints under cyclic loading have very low resistance to forces acting on the wooden structure.


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Part of this report was presented at the 5th Symposium on Timber Bridges of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers, Tokyo, July 2006; the 56th Annual Meeting of the Japan Wood Research Society, Akita, August 2006; and the Annual Meeting of the Architectural Institute of Japan, Fukuoka, August 2007

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Sawata, K., Sasaki, T., Doi, S. et al. Effect of decay on shear performance of dowel-type timber joints. J Wood Sci 54, 356–361 (2008).

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Key words

  • Shear strength
  • Initial stiffness
  • Hysteresis properties
  • Brown rot fungus
  • Moisture content