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Infinito
Infinito
Author: Rothoblaas

Connections, hybrid materials and new frontiers

The “Plates and connectors for timber, concrete and steel” catalogue 

While all construction is hybrid insofar as a combination of various materials and techniques, the integration of engineered timber, concrete and steel has revolutionised the use of timber as a primary construction material, even in large-scale structures traditionally dominated by concrete and steel. The benefits in terms of construction speed and sustainability are huge. 

However, in order to make this possibility more widely accessible, standardised and certified solutions were required that could be applied to connections for all types of structures, from the simplest to the most monumental. Moreover, they had to be able to manage the tolerances of vastly different construction systems, such as timber and concrete. And this is precisely what the new Rothoblaas catalogue offers, at all levels of hybrid construction: 

  • Raised installation 

  • Prefabrication 

  • Post and Beam structures 

  • Post and Slab structures 

  • Timber Frame structures 

  • Other structures 

Raised installation 

Every timber building is supported by a concrete foundation. This first form of hybridisation is crucial in protecting the timber from water and moisture in the soil. To make it even more effective, the timber structure should be raised on a concrete kerb. This technique, however, can sometimes complicate and slow down the process of installing the timber. While timber tolerances fall within the millimetre range, concrete tolerances are measured in centimetres. The latest solutions by Rothoblaas address the problem at its core, creating the space needed to fasten the timber structure directly in the concrete casting (TITAN DIVE), or even allowing the timber to be installed before the kerb is cast (UP LIFT). 

Prefabrication 

The possibility to do much of the fastening work indoors under controlled conditions offers a significant advantage in terms of quality and efficiency. On site, where conditions are not always optimal, the construction elements can then simply be positioned and the final fastenings performed. 

And the easier it is to assemble, the easier it is to take apart, with significant benefits when it comes to disposing of and reusing the material at the end of the building’s life cycle, or even during extensions or renovations. It is precisely to ensure the possibility for prefabrication and disassembly that two new connectors, RADIAL and RING, have been developed. Both products are ideally suited to meet these requirements, the difference being that while the latter is specifically intended for structural panels, the former is designed and patented for both beams and panels. 

Post and Beam structures 

The glulam Post and Beam technique allows the development of large-scale structures with large spans, previously only possible using concrete. The new, standardised ALUMEGA connectors, certified for very high strengths, meet this requirement and complete the range of Rothoblaas connectors for Post and Beam structures. 

Post and Slab structures 

Gaining popularity as an alternative to the well-established Post and Beam system, the Post and Slab system now boasts solutions able to handle loads previously unimaginable for timber. The TC FUSION timber slab jointing system is the epitome of hybrid construction, enabling the rigid connection of two glulam panels by means of a concrete casting, completing the system introduced with the SPIDER and PILLAR post connectors. 

Timber Frame structures 

Light-frame structures, increasingly widespread, have taken on greater significance in the new catalogue. Many product ranges have been expanded and new fastening systems introduced, aimed at optimising performance with this construction system too. Specially designed to facilitate the prefabrication of Timber Frame structures, the new assembly connector, WOODY, is Rothoblaas' first connector in wood, featuring a dovetail shape that offers tolerances otherwise unattainable with metal plate systems. Also featured in the new catalogue is another connector designed specifically for the prefabrication of light-frame walls, but also suitable for CLT: the WKR DOUBLE angle bracket. 

Other structures 

Just like the previous editions, this new catalogue too continues to offer the most effective solutions for consolidated construction systems, such as load-bearing wall structures. What’s new is that many of the plates have been made more efficient, reducing the use of raw materials while simultaneously increasing strength, as in the case of the WHT, WKR, ALUMAXI and TITAN PLATE lines. This optimisation offers clear benefits to both the user, who can use fewer, higher-performance plates, and the environment, by minimising the use of materials and energy. 

The new catalogue also includes another solution for jointing timber panels, a cross between gluing and jointing using cylindrical shank connectors: SHARP METAL. These long plates have a multitude of small hooks spread over the two surfaces. Once inserted into the timber, the hooks enable a type of dry bonding using technology certified according to ETA-24/0058, guaranteeing the reliability of previous research and testing. 

Significant progress has also been made in the field of acoustic and static interaction, with the entire NINO, TITAN, WHT and WKR range now tested and certified, also with the insertion of a resilient acoustic profile. The impact of acoustic profiles on the strength of connections is effectively non-negligible and must be considered during the design phase based on reliable data. 

For the same reason, the fastening selection tables have also been expanded to allow a rapid comparison of connectors and plates, making it easier to quickly choose the most suitable product. 

The new catalogue also offers excellent solutions for small structures, with the extension and optimisation of the LOCK and NINO lines, as well as the adjustable post bases, with the addition of R60. 

Finally, alongside the steel connectors, the range of chemical anchors has also been renewed with the introduction of a new high-performance epoxy resin, EPO-FIX, characterised by exceptional seismic performance, completing the range of Rothoblaas chemical anchors and enabling optimal use of the tensile strength plates. 

In summary 

The new Rothoblaas catalogue marks a turning point for hybrid construction, introducing standardised and certified solutions for connecting different materials and overcoming the challenges posed by tolerance issues. Its application will allow timber to serve as a primary building material even in large-scale projects, thereby promoting sustainability and efficiency in modern construction. 

Browse the new catalogue now 

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