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The goal of this research was to gain a better understanding of the bolt bearing behavior of engineered wood composites made from yellow poplar lumber. Lumber specimens included in this study were laminated veneer lumber, strandbased lumber, yellow poplar lumber, and Douglas-fir larch lumber. Testing followed the half-hole and full-hole configuration as set forth in ASTM Standard D5764 (1998).

In a previous study by Wilkinson (1991), a strong correlation was shown between bearing strength perpendicular to grain and bolt diameter. This study supports Wilkinson's finding for bearing strength perpendicular-to-grain based on the half hole test configuration. Other findings in this study indicate there may be a correlation between bolt diameter and bearing strength parallel-to-grain for the half-hole test configuration as well as a correlation between bolt diameter and bearing strength both perpendicular- and parallel-to-grain for the full-hole test configuration.

In general, half-hole tests resulted in a greater dowel-bearing strength than full-hole tests, especially for 12.7mm (1/2 in) diameter bolts. Also, engineered wood composites generally provided equivalent or greater dowel-bearing strength in the half-hole configuration and greater dowel-bearing strength in the full-hole configuration when compared to lumber from the same species.

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Originally published for the Proceedings of the 1999 ASCE Structures Congress, American Society of Civil Engineers.