Load distribution behavior among multiple-bolts was evaluated using new, instrumented bolt-type connectors. The instrumented shear bolts output an electronic signal proportional to the shear forces transmitted through the bolt in a double-shear connection during loading. Double-shear connections constructed of clear, straight-grained yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) were tested in compression parallel to grain. Five different bolt patterns were used to analyze the effect of number of bolts in a vertical row and number of bolts in a horizontal column on load transfer among the bolts. The load distribution among the bolts in the multiple-bolted wood connection was determined effectively using the shear bolts that provided detailed quantitative data concerning which bolt was the major load carrier throughout the entire test and exactly if and when the load was transmitted between the bolts.
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