Joinery connections in timber frames: analytical and experimental explorations of structural behaviorDemi Fang and Caitlin Mueller, International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS), 2018
Innovations in mass timber have ushered in a resurgence of timber construction. Historic timber structures feature joinery connections which geometrically interlock, rarely featuring in modern construction which utilizes steel fasteners for connection details. Research in the geometric potential and mechanical performance of joinery connections remain disparate. This study seeks to develop a performance-driven design framework for the geometry of joinery connections. Experimental and analytical models for three types of joinery connections are presented and compared. The T* type joint, which uses a T-shaped tenon instead of a dovetail, experimentally showed the highest rotational stiffness. The analytically predicted rotational stiffness of the T* type joint comes within 20% of the experimentally determined value. A preliminary parametric study through the analytical model demonstrates how geometric parameters can be varied to achieve desired rotational stiffness.
Design, mechanics, and optimization of interlocking wood jointsResearch, 2017 - Present
Despite the longstanding craft of interlocking wood joints in North American and East Asian carpentry, modern timber structures frequently use metal connectors in mid-rise construction. This research explores the structural capabilities of interlocking joints between beams and columns for mid-rise timber frame construction. Research methods include parametric design, structural modelling, digital fabrication, and experimental load testing.
Space Architecture: form finding strategies and multiobjective optimizationResearch, 2016 - 2017
This research aims to explore form finding strategies for deep space exploration habitats on extraplanetary surfaces such as the Moon and Mars. A new sphere packing form finding approach has been studied, trying to optimize the location of different system and subsystems inside a space habitat and respond to the high pressure differentials required in these environments. Typically the organization of the interior layout follows the functional needs of the crew, such as working, hygiene, preparing and eating food, etc. To respond to relationships between such functional areas, including sizing, adjacencies, and approximate shapes, architects traditionally have used bubble diagrams and adjacency matrices as design aids. This research combines and digitizes these approaches with a sphere packing algorithm powered by dynamic relaxation, which allocates all required activities and respects all analyzed linkages between functions and subsystems. Furthermore, the obtained functional diagram is readily translated in architecture through a transformation into a tension-only pressurized surface using form-finding tools. The resulting habitat design is evaluated, in terms of its structural performance, through FE analysis tools. In summary, this research presents a new computational design method for space surface habitats that responds to both functional and physical requirements, offering new ways to support future space exploration.