Failure mechanisms of roof sheathing under fluctuating wind loads

David Henderson, Curtis Williams, Eri Gavanski, Gregory A. Kopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Roof sheathing on typical North American timber frame house construction is subjected to high uplift loads during severe windstorms resulting in commonly observed failures. To investigate such failures in detail, ramp and fluctuating wind loads were applied to oriented strand board and plywood panels fixed to rafters with twisted and ring-shank nail varieties, as well as staples. It was observed for panels fixed with twist-shank nails that the panels separate from the rafters in small increments associated with the large peak pressures. In contrast, the failure progression for ring-shank nails is much more sudden. With both types of failure progression, however, it is observed that it is the short duration peak gusts which damage and fail the panels, and always at the nails with the largest tributary areas in the interior of the panel. Tests were also conducted with different missing nail configurations and the capacities assessed. It was observed that fasteners with the incremental failure mechanism were able to more effectively distribute the load such that the effects of missing nails are reduced compared to the panels which fail by the sudden mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-37
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Low-rise buildings
  • Pressure tests
  • Roofs
  • Sheathing
  • Wind damage
  • Wind loads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering


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