The DOWEL program is a finite-element modeler for dowel-type connections (e.g. nails, bolts, lag screws) in wood-wood, wood-steel or any other type of connection material configuration. The underlying model has even been used for pile modeling in soil. It calculates load-displacement curves for monotonic and cyclic loading applictions and plots deformed shapes at predefined displacement steps. Material inputs consist of basic material embedment data. All material data is stored in a database that can be appended by the user.
The objective of this study was to investigate the monotonic and cyclic behaviour of different kinds of slender dowel-type fasteners. To accomplish this, four types of fasteners were tested in a series of 73 monotonic and cyclic tests. All tests used either one or two slotted-in steel plates in PARALLAM®, a Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL) product.
This program allows the user to take an Excel spreadsheet with any type of calculation data (no matter how complex) and optimize a calculation outcome (e.g. total cost) using a Genetic Algorithm approach. Genetic algorithms (GAs) are based on biological principles of evolution and provide an interesting alternative to “classic” gradient-based optimization methods.