Numerical Study of the Geometry Effect of Notched Connections in Mass Timber Panel-Concrete Composite Floors

  • Lei Zhang Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta
  • Y H Chui Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta


A mass timber panel-concrete (MTPC) composite floor system consists of a timber panel in the tensile zone, a concrete layer in the compression zone, and shear connectors between timber and concrete. The notched connections that are cut in timber and connected with concrete by the interlocking effect are often classified as the best type of connection system in terms of stiffness and load-carrying capacity. To study the effect of notch geometry to the performance of notched connections and composite beams, 2D finite element models are built in ABAQUS in this study. The concrete portion is modelled with concrete damaged plasticity model while the timber portion is modelled with Hashin’s failure criteria. The effective bending stiffness and ultimate bending capacity of the composite beam under uniformly distributed load are obtained from the finite element models and are compared with the well-known Gamma method in Eurocode 5 and strut-and-tie model. Good agreement between finite element model in the elastic range and strut-and-tie model was achieved. However, due to the assumptions made in the Gamma method, it was found that this simplified design method is not capable of describing MTPC composite floors with discrete notched connections.