The effect of notch on the capacity of axially loaded members

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Civil Engineering


Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics


Advisor: Joseph Elias Saliba


This study investigates the effects of notches on the strength and stiffness of axially loaded wood members. Several 2x4" studs were tested by varying the size and location of notches along the height of the member. Similar experiments were also performed by strengthening the notch with a metal cover plate. Result of the tests showed that the axial strength decreased considerably with size. The bigger the notch the larger the decrease in strength and stiffness. Strengthening with the metal plate increased the strength but did little to restoring stiffness. The experiments also showed that location of the notch had a considerable impact on strength as well as stiffness. The largest decrease in both strength and stiffness was noticed when the notch was at mid height. Strengthening the notch with a plate at the mid-height showed improvement in restoring the capacity with larger notch sizes in comparison to smaller ones. Regardless of notch size, the results showed a proportional relationship between the plate and notch location in restoring the strength of the member (i.e., the farther the notch location is from the mid height, more load is restored). Finally, an equation was developed to predict the capacity of different notch sizes at different locations."


Wood Testing, Materials Dynamic testing, Columns, Wooden Design and construction, Loads (Mechanics), Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Notch Effects, Wood Column, Timber Column, Notched Column

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