Collapse processes and associated loading of square light-frame timber structures due to bore-type waves

Extreme hydrodynamic events such as hurricanes or tsunamis threaten coastal regions in particular. Such hazards must be assessed and appropriately incorporated into building codes to mitigate casualties and damages to coastal structures. Guidelines are often developed through experimental investigations that assume buildings remain rigid during hydrodynamic loading. To challenge this ‘rigid building paradigm’, test specimens were designed to replicate the deformation characteristics of an idealized light-frame timber structure using Froude-Cauchy similarity. Subsequently, a large-scale experimental study was conducted at the Large Wave Flume of the Coastal Research Center in Hannover. Hydrodynamic loads and load gradients were investigated to describe both the influence of an elasto-plastically modeled test specimen compared to a rigid reference model and the effect of load history on the structural loads. Finally, the collapse sequences of elasto-plastic specimens were extracted from high-speed photographs and classified into three failure mechanisms. In this study, data analyses are presented with the intention to not only inform local authorities for future development of guidelines but also serve as calibration and validation data for improving numerical methods.


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