Tohid Ghanbari-Ghazijahani, Hamid Valipour,  and Martin Mensinger



Significant advancements have been made in the area of composite structures. Aligned with an innovative design, the motivation behind this research is, first, to make efficient use of timber as an environmentally friendly material and, second, to employ steel alongside timber effectively to prevent buckling of the steel.

This research aims to bridge this knowledge gap by exploring the integration of steel, carbon fiber–reinforced polymer (CFRP), and timber. The objective is to create innovative composite column structures that leverage the unique properties of each material to enhance structural performance and efficiency.

The authors conducted tests on a set of 24 columns under compression conditions. The results of the structural tests demonstrated significant compression capacities relative to their mass, highlighting the significant advantages of material synergy within these elements.

The study thoroughly quantifies these benefits, shedding light on the potentially transformative impact of these innovative composite columns in the field of structural engineering. A significant finding was the influence of the timber section’s geometry on preventing column buckling.

Furthermore, the positioning of steel within the sandwich columns played a vital role, with steel elements having a greater area with timber exhibiting enhanced structural performance and reduced likelihood of debonding. This paper introduces a new parameter, the inelastic transition area denoted as, which characterizes the smoothness or abruptness of the transition once the inelastic region begins and the graph descends.

This parameter bears significance in risk analysis for structures susceptible to progressive failure. All specimens displaying substantial energy absorption featured larger timber sections, highlighting the pivotal role of timber in absorbing higher levels of energy during structural loading. The findings contribute to the growing body of knowledge on composite materials and their applications in modern construction.