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Experimental Investigation of an Innovative Composite Mullion Made of Aluminium and Timber

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Jiao, S., Gunalan, S., Gilbert, B. P., Baleshan, B. and Bailleres, H. (2021) Experimental Investigation of an Innovative Composite Mullion Made of Aluminium and Timber. Journal of Building Engineering, 38 . p. 101907. ISSN 2352-7102

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2020.101907

Publisher URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352710220335403


The façade, as the exterior cladding of a building, is an essential element which provides waterproofing, thermal isolation and structural resistance against environmental actions. The vertical members in curtain wall façade systems, referred to as mullions, are the dominant load-bearing structural members. Despite aluminium being a durable material, conventional aluminium façade frames are weak in thermal performance, and hence thermal breaks are often used in the industry to provide the required insulation. In addition, timber frames may be preferred by building designers due to their aesthetic appearance and sustainability. Therefore, an innovative composite mullion was developed using aluminium and timber to combine the best features of both materials and is presented in this study. Experimental studies were also conducted to verify the structural performance of the composite mullion. The first series of tests was performed to investigate various aluminium-timber connections to ensure composite action. Four different connection types were considered in this study and the optimum connection was chosen and discussed. Four-point bending tests were performed next to investigate the bending behaviour and strength of the newly developed mullion as well as traditional aluminium mullions under positive and negative wind loading scenarios. It was found that the new composite mullions achieved higher section moment capacities than the traditional aluminium mullions, while being energy-efficient, aesthetically pleasing and more sustainable.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Composite sections Façades Mullions Timber Aluminium Section moment capacity
Subjects:Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Forestry > Forestry machinery and engineering
Forestry > Tools and implements
Forestry > Exploitation and utilization
Live Archive:26 Oct 2020 03:11
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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