Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Shmulsky, Rubin

Committee Member

Ross, Robert J.

Committee Member

Freyne, Seamus

Committee Member

Seale, R. Dan

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Resources

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Sustainable Bioproducts


This document will outline the findings of three separate and independent studies: Study 1: In or around 1972, an experimental building was constructed. One of the intents of the construction project was to demonstrate advancements in wood building construction design. It was value-engineered throughout. That is, its materials and systems were intended to function at or near design capacity. In 2019, part of the roof of the structure collapsed. This case study investigates two potential factors that led to the failure: stress concentration in excess of the 12 allowable stress for 2 × 4 web members and insufficient plywood sheathing to support live loads 13 caused by large rain events. Study 2: As a building material, cross laminated timber (CLT) has exponentially grown in popularity recently. Although performing superior to numerous other popular building materials, a consistent issue presented in wood construction is the effect of moisture on performance. This study looks to investigate the effect of moisture content on the performance of a 2-way dowel type fastener system loaded in shear perpendicular to the major strength axis. It was found that the peak load capacity of the specimens was not affected by the moisture content of the CLT. However, yield strength increased as the moisture content decreased. Lastly it was found that the failure mode changed from ductile to brittle as specimens became drier than 12% moisture content by mass. Study 3: Inherently, the weak point of any structure is the connection system. This phenomenon is particularly apparent in wooden structures as dowel type fasteners place tremendous amounts of stress perpendicular to the grain of the wood, as well as shear stress under the bolt. In hopes of mitigating this behavior, fiberglass reinforcement of these samples is examined to see if both failure mode as well as overall performance of these fasteners could be improved with reinforcement. It was found that fiberglass significantly reduced the standard deviation of failure strength of fasteners, significantly increased the overall strength of the fasteners, increased the efficiency of the fasteners, and finally increased the probability of bearing failure opposed to block shear failure.