Dovetail splice joint - a continuity connection for two-way timber-concrete composite plates

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


In modern construction, demand for long spans and light structures has led to floor serviceability issues. One solution is to design the floors as timber-concrete composite (TCC) structures, which are characterized by high stiffness and other beneficial properties for fulfilling the requirements for the floors. TCC structures have become popular during the past few decades and recently, interest in two-way TCC plates has arisen due to the potential for even higher stiffness and a larger freedom of support placement. A practical method for fabricating two-way TCC floors is to use engineered wood products such as cross-banded laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or cross-laminated timber. However, a stiff connection between timber panels is essential for effective two-way TCC systems. In this thesis, a novel stiff connection, a dovetail splice joint, that requires no use of steel or glueing, is proposed. The main research objectives of this thesis were to investigate the mechanical behaviour of the new dovetail splice joint and its performance as a lateral continuity connection in two-way LVL-concrete composite floors. The research consisted of three main parts:(i) Investigations of the shear behaviour of timber-concrete contacts, which was essential for modelling the dovetail joint. In this part, timber-concrete shear behaviour was studied experimentally and an interface model was developed to simulate the observed behaviour. (ii) Investigations of the behaviour of the dovetail splice joint under axial in-plane loads. This part consisted of experimental investigations of the joint, and development of a numerical model to simulate the joint's behaviour. Furthermore, the model was validated and used to perform parametric studies. (iii) Investigations of the performance of two-way TCC floor plates with the dovetail splice joint. This part consisted of experimental modal analysis and static deflection tests on LVL-concrete composite plates with various support conditions. In addition, a numerical model that can be used to simulate behaviour of similar plates, was developed and validated. The results indicate that the joint can achieve a high stiffness, making it applicable for the intended purpose. Based on the experimental and numerical results, the jointed timber panels in a TCC plate could be treated as a continuous layer. However, in contrast to existing connections, the joint's behaviour is strongly length-dependent, i.e. strength and stiffness per unit length increase with increasing length.
Translated title of the contributionLohenpyrstöliitos kahteen suuntaan kantavien puu-betoniliittolaattojen jatkosliitoksena
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Fink, Gerhard, Supervising Professor
Print ISBNs978-952-64-0785-2
Electronic ISBNs978-952-64-0786-9
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • timber-concrete composite
  • dovetail joint
  • vibration
  • finite element model
  • modelling
  • experimental investigations
  • two-way action
  • contact


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