Experimental Evaluation of Epoxy Based Wood Plank-concrete Composite Floor Systems for Mill Building Renovations

By Peggi L. Clouston and Chad P. Quaglia.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Adaptive reuse of industrial mill buildings is a growing trend that has proven economic and environmental advantages over new development. This paper presents an experimental study as a preliminary investigation into two novel techniques to upgrade old floors for improved strength and stiffness by adding and bonding concrete to existing planks to form a composite deck. Three full scale wood plank-concrete composite floor decks were fabricated and tested to failure in four point bending. The three specimens differed only in the type of interfacial connector between the planking and the concrete slab: one specimen used a layer of epoxy designed to bond wet concrete to wood; another used a layer of cured epoxy as well as an evenly distributed layer of embedded aggregate; and the final specimen had no deliberate connection. The latter was the control specimen, which relied only on friction between the two components. The results suggested that both techniques could significantly improve deck strength and stiffness over having no connection between the planks and concrete. The epoxy specimen proved to be the strongest (over 4 times the strength of the control specimen), whereas the epoxy-aggregate specimen was the stiffest (approximately 2.5 times the stiffness of the control specimen).

Keywords: Adaptive Reuse, Composite Action, Experiment, Floor Design, Historic Preservation, Mill Buildings, Strength, Stiffness, Wood-Concrete

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.63-74. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 746.200KB).

Dr. Peggi L. Clouston

Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA

Dr. Clouston is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she specializes in the structural behavior and efficient use of sustainable, biobased composite materials. Current research topics include: wood-concrete composite systems, laminated bamboo lumber, innovative timber connections, and computational modeling of wood-based composites. She teaches courses in structural timber design, bio-based building composites and statics/strength of materials (tectonics) for architects, engineers and construction technologists. Dr. Clouston is a registered professional engineer (APEGBC) since 1992 and an associate editor of ASCE, Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. She serves on numerous national review panels and committees and is founder of the UMass Wood Structures Symposium.

Chad P. Quaglia

Graduate Student, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, USA

Chad is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Notre Dame pursuing a Master of Science in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Structures. His research program focuses on kinetic structures including movable/deployable structures for disaster relief. Chad is a registered Engineer in Training and an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers since 2008.