Experimental and numerical study on structural behavior of a single timber textile module
The present work investigates an innovative class of timber structure with potential applications in roofing, facade and bridge construction, called Timberfabric. The development of Timberfabric structures originates from the approach of harnessing the structural, modular and qualities of textiles in timber construction (Weinand and Hudert, 2010) . Timberfabric structures are comprised of repetitive arrangements of one or more structural unit cells called Textile Modules. When properly designed, one obtains a modular and lightweight structure with interesting and unusual geometrical and structural qualities.This paper focuses on the single timber Textile Module. Based on the finite element (FE) method, a reliable procedure is proposed for modeling the overall assembly process of the Textile Module. For comparison, Textile Module prototypes are constructed at two different scales (large and intermediate scales) with different assembly conditions. The proposed geometrically nonlinear FE model allows evaluation of the stresses that are induced during the construction process and which may affect the structural integrity of the module. In particular, the risk of failure during assembly is identified using the anisotropic Tsai-Hill criterion. The structural behavior of the timber Textile Module is then investigated through bending tests using the constructed prototypes. During the loading procedure, the vertical deflections are measured at different locations on the prototype surface by means of external displacement transducers. Using the FE model, the corresponding deformed shapes are simulated by applying the bending loads on the prestressed Textile Module. Experimental displacements and FE predictions are thus compared and found to be in good agreement.