Hysteretic behavior of traditional Chinese timber frames under cyclic lateral loads

Qingfang Niu, Jia Wan, Tieying Li, Y. Frank Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The beam-column-bracket frame is a relatively complete system of most Pre-1386 (Ming Dynasty) Chinese timber structures, which transfers shear, compression, and bending from bracket to beam-column frame and then to the building base. Its structure is rather complex and there has been little information describing the force resistance behavior of these kinds of wood assemblies. In this paper, a single-layer half-scale 3D specimen with bucket arches and beam-column frame was tested under cyclic lateral loads achieved through a uniquely developed loading mechanism. The frame behavior was investigated under three different levels of gravity loads. The study results show that the beam-column joint serves as a weak link in the frame and the structure can return to the initial (or close to) equilibrium position during the unloading process as the columns exhibit the rocking mechanism. The wooden structure manifests good ductility despite its low energy dissipation capability. The variations of bearing capacity, lateral stiffness, and the accumulated dissipation energy of the structure under different vertical loads are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-386
Number of pages9
JournalMaterialpruefung/Materials Testing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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