Performance of Timber Connections Exposed to Fire: A Review

C. Maraveas, K. Miamis, Ch E. Matthaiou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fire safety has always been a major concern in the design of timber construction. Even though wood is a highly combustible material, timber members can perform adequately under elevated temperatures. The thermal response of timber connections, however, is in most cases poor and determination of their fire resistance is usually the crucial factor in evaluating the overall load-bearing capacity of wood structures exposed to fire. The analysis of timber joints under fire conditions can be challenging due to their complexity and variety. After presenting the variation of the properties of timber with temperature, this paper reviews the fire performance of various connection types, such as bolted or nailed wood-to-wood and steel-to-timber joints. Results from relevant experimental programs and numerical studies are discussed in detail and future research needs are highlighted. The effect of several factors on the fire resistance of timber connections, such as the fastener diameter, timber thickness and joint geometry, is investigated and useful conclusions are drawn. Based on these, preliminary guidelines for the efficient design of timber connections under fire exposure are presented. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-32
Number of pages31
JournalFire Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Connections
  • Elevated temperatures
  • Fire
  • Timber
  • Wood
  • Wood-steel connections


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