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Understanding Force at an Angle Connections

Connections in structural engineering are often subjected to forces acting at various angles. These forces can result from lateral bracing systems in mass timber buildings which can either be compressive or tensile in nature. When a force is applied at an angle, it introduces both vertical and horizontal force components on the primary (horizontal) member. This complexity requires a detailed understanding of angled forces and how they impact structural elements. The distribution of loads changes with angled forces, potentially leading to uneven stress distribution and localized points of weakness. They cause tension and compression stresses within a structure, requiring careful analysis to ensure stability and integrity. The design of connections in such structures must account for these multi-directional forces to prevent failure.


CLT Toolbox can simulate these stress distributions due to the angled forces, allowing designers to visualize and adjust their designs accordingly. By integrating prEN 1995.1.1:2023 and AS1720.1 guidelines into the design software, it ensures adherence to the latest standards and best practices.

Timber Failure Checks

Timber connections are fundamental in the structural integrity of timber buildings. Ensuring these connections withstand various stresses—compression, tension, and shear is crucial.

Compression Check: This check ensures if the respective connection can withstand compressive forces without buckling or crushing. The key consideration in compression checks lies in the timber’s compressive strength, which varies significantly with the grain orientation. Compression perpendicular to the grain often requires more attention due to lower strength in this direction. Compression failure arises when compressive forces exceed the connection’s ability to withstand them, causing crushing, yielding, or buckling of the timber.

Tension Check: The purpose of this check is to confirm that the connection can resist forces trying to pull it apart. The tensile strength of the timber, which varies significantly with grain orientation, is the most critical concern in tension checks. Because of its lower strength, tension perpendicular to the grain requires more attention than tension parallel to grain check. Tension failure occurs when the connection is subjected to tensile forces that surpass its resistance. This can lead to a gradual pulling apart or abrupt rupture of the timber elements.

Key Features of the Calculator:

Angle Flexibility: The calculator accommodates a wide range of angles, allowing engineers to analyze connections in various structural configurations.

Comprehensive Analysis: It considers various factors such as applied force nature, member properties, and connection geometry to provide a thorough analysis of force distribution.

Visual Representation: Results are presented in a clear and intuitive format, aided with dynamic graphical representations which help in the interpretation of data inputs and outputs.

Benefits of Using the Calculator:

Time Efficiency: By automating complex calculations, engineers can significantly reduce the time spent on connection analysis, accelerating the overall design process.

Accuracy: The use of recent design codes and standards along with design guides ensures precise results, minimizing the risk of errors in structural designs.

Enhanced Productivity: With the burden of manual calculations lifted, engineers can focus their expertise on higher-level tasks, fostering productivity and innovation.

Confidence in Design: By relying on a trusted tool like the Force at an Angle Connection Calculator, engineers can have confidence in the integrity and safety of their designs.

How CLT Toolbox Simplifies Timber Connection Design

CLT Toolbox offers a suite of tools and resources designed to address timber connection challenges in the design of force at an angle connections with advanced analysis capabilities. The user interface is simple to use, which features a dynamic graphic that allows you to observe how the inputs change accordingly.


The input section allows you to insert the inclination angle of the angled member, choose the GLT material type among the various suppliers, dimension properties, select design codes, and also insert the magnitude of either the compressive or tensile force, which is the design load for this calculator.



The output summary displays the major checks for this calculator which are either the compression or tension checks respective of the applied load type.


The material property tab shows the respective material properties of the selected GLT material.


This tab performs the actual calculation for such type of timber connections. The calculations are performed in a brief manner, avoiding any possible black boxes, and are carefully referenced to their corresponding design codes, making them easily understandable, and educational.


In the ever-evolving field of structural design of timber connections, tools like the Force at an Angle Connection Calculator by CLT Toolbox are revolutionizing the way engineers approach connection analysis. By leveraging advanced technology to automate complex calculations, this innovative software empowers engineers to design with confidence, efficiency, and precision, ultimately contributing to safer and more resilient structures. Embrace the future of structural analysis with CLT Toolbox and simplify your engineering endeavors today and tackle the challenges of modern structural design.