Oregon State University

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Renewable Materials Honors Thesis Defense: Hayley Girod

Lateral Connections and Withdrawal Capacity of Western Juniper

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) is a "native invasive" tree species in eastern Oregon.  It is extremely good at finding and consuming water in arid climates, which makes it difficult for other species, especially sage brush and grasses to survive.  Sage rush and grasses are necessary for the survival of the sage grouse, an endagered species.  There is much discussion about harvesting juniper trees to help alleviate the stresses the trees put on the sage grouse and water supply in eastern Oregon.  However, there is not much of a market for juniper wood.  Part of the reason is that there are no design values for juniper availale, making engineers and designers reluctant to choose juniper for structural applications.

The goal of this project is to increase the amount of available information about juniper wood in order to encourages its use in structural applications.  To contribute to this goal, this project evaluated the performance connections involving Western juniper wood and other common wood-based building materials.  The tests for this project will include edge lateral nail connection test as per ASTM D 1761, dowel earing strength test as per ASTM D 5764, and withdrawal test as per ASTM D 1761.  Following the testing, the data was analyzed and inferences were drawn about the performanceof the species in these types of connections.  THe results were also evaluated against predictive design equations found in the National Design Specification.  The result of this project will help form a material statistic on performance of connection involving Western juniper.  Western juniper can potentially be an economically important species for rural eastern Oregon.  However, lack of engineering deisgn values for the species and a performance metric for connections impedes its acceptance in the mainstream construction.

The data obtained in this study suggests that NDS equations can adequately predict connection performance of juniper, provided the specific gravity is known.

Hayey is an undergraduate student in Renewable Materials in the department of Wood Science and Engineering defending her honors thesis.  She will complete her degree in June 2017.

Richardson Hall (campus map)
3180 SW Jefferson Way
Michelle Maller
Michelle.Maller at oregonstate.edu
Wood Science & Engineering
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