Introduction to connections

Introduction to connections

Date Published

20 August 2022

Document Type




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Timber, as a natural material, has limits to the shape, length and other dimensions available for its use in construction. The connection requirements are therefore higher than with man-made materials such as steel.

Timber lengths are sometimes restricted for transport reasons and, as a result, timber often needs to be joined to provide the lengths, shapes and forms required by designers.

Timber is unique in the range and diversity of methods with which it can be joined. As well as for basic form, joining techniques are very useful in the design of complicated structures to restrict support reactions and transfer loads from one member to another.

Timber connections have developed from medieval times to the modern era in parallel with design developments and improvements in processing and fabrication technology. In general terms, however, timber connections can be divided into three basic types: all-timber connections, metal connections and adhesive connections.

Key Information

As a natural material, timber has limits to its shape, length and other dimensions compared with man-made materials.

The eccentricity of loading is assumed to be zero. The forces amongst groups of fasteners are assumed to be equal (equal load distribution).

Timber connections again can be divided into three basic types by connection method: all-timber, metal and adhesive connections.

Generally there are two options for compliance with fire regulations: apply fire protection or design the structure and connections to survive the fire for the required period.