Dowel-laminated timber (DLT) elements consist of lamellae arranged side-by-side that are connected with beech dowels. Due to the glue-free DLT element layup, joints and shear walls potentially suffer from considerable reduction of stiffness and load carrying capacity as metal fasteners inserted perpendicular to the element plane may be placed in gaps between the single lamellae. Tests on typical joints showed that, depending on the fastener diameter, the remaining load carrying capacity of joints in DLT in comparison to joints in solid wood may be only 25%. Tests on DLT shear walls with different sheeting proved that the use of DLT structures as shear walls is only possible if at least one-sided sheeting is used. Cyclic tests on DLT shear walls demonstrated that the DLT construction typology has energy dissipation properties similar to traditional timber frame construction. Analogously, preliminary behaviour factors for DLT buildings evaluated with numerical models were also similar to those for timber frame buildings.
Mass timber is a family of Solid Laminate Timber Systems (SLTS) formed from smaller sections of timber connected by glue, mechanical fixings, moisture movement or a combination of methods. These products, which include Structural Composite Lumber, GluLam, Cross Lam, Nail Lam and Dowel Lam (or Brettstapel), have over the past two decades seen an extraordinary upsurge in use internationally. This global phenomenon has been driven by a greater emphasis on the sustainable use of renewable resources and by significant technological developments in the manufacture of SLTS. This research paper considers the merits of each of these products, their manufacturing processes and the corresponding quality assurance requirements necessary for successful project delivery. The paper describes the advantages and barriers to the use of the mass timber and provides an overview of the various aspects to be considered during design for offsite and modular construction. The work presented also provides case studies of how these products have been researched and utilised into live projects in the UK utilising local resource resulting in the formation of new supply chain arrangements. The work further explains the advantages of the respective systems for the given application including information on species selection, connection systems employed and the necessary onsite and offsite management approaches deployed.
The proposed paper presents two alternative strategies for using fast-growing, low-grade softwood for modern engineered wood products. A chemical based strategy is explored first with the testing of polymer-impregnated small clear wood samples. A second mechanical based strategy based on the tectonics of stress-laminated bridge decks is examined in further detail with 1:10 scaled structural models, followed later on by full-scale testing. The relative benefits and disadvantages of each strategy are compared to each other, and benchmarked against regular sawn timber and conventional engineered wood products like glulam and cross-laminated timber.