Comparison of Self-Tapping Screws and Bamboo Nails in Reinforcing the Zuo-Dou Connections in Traditional Oriental Timber Frames of Asia

Yu-hsiang Yeh, Yi Chi Yeh, Tzu Chi Wang, Yin Chia Hsu

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1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper is focused on the retrofitting techniques of Zuo-Dou connections in Dieh-Dou timber frames in Far East Asia. The target is to develop appropriate techniques for the reinforcement and maintenance of the wooden cultural heritage. A series of full-scale tests are intended for the evaluation of the rotational and shear characteristics of the various retrofitting techniques for the Zuo-Dou joints. These retrofitting techniques are conceived by this study based on the principles of the conservation of cultural heritage. The reversible materials, invisible layouts, and structurally efficient schemes are taken into account to figure out the reinforcement strategies. Regarding the conservation targets, this study applies the self-tapping screw (STS) and the bamboo nail for reinforcement. Corresponding to the loading circumstances, moment- and shear-constraining schemes are developed. The STS and the bamboo nail are applied by means of moment- or shear-constraining strategies. Then, rotational and shear tests are carried out to estimate the structural efficiency of the conceived retrofitting techniques. With the appropriate schemes, the STS and the bamboo nail contribute to the enhancement of the structural performance of the Zuo-Dou connection. The STS in a moment-constraining profile can ameliorate the Zuo-Dou’s rotational behaviour. As far as post retrofitting and preventing reinforcing are concerned, the STS reveals considerable structural efficiency. The bamboo nail in a shear-constraining scheme can increase the shear capacity of the Zuo-Dou joint. Besides the quantitative outcomes, these retrofitting techniques exhibit ductility and enhance the deformation processes of the connections. With the alternative fasteners, the slump or vibration during the deformation becomes moderate and the severe damages, such as rocking or block shear failure, are alleviated. The techniques and associated materials used in this study exhibit compatibility and feasibility for constraining the rotation, deformation, and crack of the Zuo-Dou connection. These effects are helpful for retaining the joints’ structural behaviour and contribute to the conservation of traditional timber constructions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number709
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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