Connectors generally comprise toothed plates, discs or rings that are partly embedded into the adjacent timber members of a connection and are normally held in place by a connecting bolt. They are used for connections subjected to lateral loading and the load is primarily transferred between the joint members by bearing near the surface of the member. By increasing the bearing area they can take substantially increased loads over the metal dowel type fasteners referred to in Chapter 10, which function primarily by dowel action. Generally, the connector bolts hold the members together and do not contribute to the load-carrying capacity of the connection, but with some types of connector they do.

Several types of timber connector are available and the ones most commonly used in timber joint design are the toothed-plate, the split-ring or the shear-plate form. The configuration and material requirements for these connectors are defined in BS EN 912 (2000) [1] and the design rules given in EC5 [2] for each type are discussed.

The general information in 4.3 is relevant to the content of this chapter.

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