An analytical model describing the in-plane behaviour of timber diaphragms strengthened with plywood panels

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Timber diaphragms in existing buildings are often too flexible in their plane, and can thus potentially cause out-of-plane collapses of walls during earthquakes. A very efficient retrofitting method to increase their in-plane stiffness and energy dissipation is the overlay of plywood panels. However, the usual characterization of the floors by means of a general equivalent shear stiffness cannot account for their nonlinearity and dissipative properties. Therefore, in this work, an analytical model is formulated to describe the in-plane response of timber diaphragms strengthened with plywood panels screwed along their perimeter to the existing sheathing. The proposed formulation starts from the definition of the load-slip equation for a single screw connecting a plank and a plywood panel. The whole floor’s response is then derived, with the prediction of both backbone curve and pinching cycles. From the comparison between the response of tested full-scale diaphragms and the analytically calculated one, it can be concluded that the proposed model accurately predicts the in-plane behaviour and dissipative properties of timber floors retrofitted with plywood panels.