Delamination and decay are common structural defects in old glued laminated timber (glulam) buildings, which, if left undetected, could cause severe structural damage. This paper presents a new damage detection method for glulam inspection based on moment analysis and wavelet transform (WT) of impact acoustic signals. Acoustic signals were collected from a glulam arch section removed from service through impact testing at various locations. The presence and positions of internal defects were preliminarily determined by applying time centroid and frequency centroid of the first moment. Acoustic signals were then decomposed by wavelet packet transform (WPT) and the energy of the sub-bands was calculated as characteristics of the response signals. The sub-bands of 0–375 Hz and 375–750 Hz were identified as the most discriminative features that are associated with decay and delamination and therefore are indicative of the presence of delamination or decay defects. A defect diagnosis algorithm was tested for its ability to identify internal decay and delamination in glulam. The results show that depth of delamination in a glulam member can be determined with reasonable accuracy.
There has been growing interest in the development of waste-specific decay factors for estimation of greenhouse gas emissions from landfills in national greenhouse gas inventories. Although engineered wood products (EWPs) and paper represent a substantial component of the solid waste stream, there is limited information available on their carbon dynamics in landfills. The objective of this study was to determine the extent of carbon loss for EWPs and paper products commonly used in Australia. Experiments were conducted under laboratory conditions designed to simulate optimal anaerobic biodegradation in a landfill.
Methane generation rates over incubations of 307–677 days ranged from zero for medium-density fibreboard (MDF) to 326 mL CH4 g-1 for copy paper. Carbon losses for particleboard and MDF ranged from 0.7 to 1.6%, consistent with previous estimates. Carbon loss for the exterior wall panel product (2.8%) was consistent with the expected value for blackbutt, the main wood type used in its manufacture. Carbon loss for bamboo (11.4%) was significantly higher than for EWPs. Carbon losses for the three types of copy paper tested ranged from 72.4 to 82.5%, and were significantly higher than for cardboard (27.3–43.8%). Cardboard that had been buried in landfill for 20 years had a carbon loss of 27.3%—indicating that environmental conditions in the landfill did not support complete decomposition of the available carbon. Thus carbon losses for paper products as measured in bioreactors clearly overestimate those in actual landfills. Carbon losses, as estimated by gas generation, were on average lower than those derived by mass balance. The low carbon loss for particleboard and MDF is consistent with carbon loss for Australian wood types described in previous studies. A factor for carbon loss for combined EWPs and wood in landfills in Australia of 1.3% and for paper of 48% is proposed.
The new suggested combined decay factor for wood and EWPs represents a significant reduction from the current factor used in the Australian greenhouse gas inventory; whereas the suggested decay factor for paper is similar to the current decay factor. Our results improve current understanding of the carbon dynamics of harvested wood products, and allow more refined estimates of methane emissions from landfills.
Several nondestructive evaluation (NDE) technologies were studied to determine their efficacy as scanning devices to detect internal moisture and artificial decay pockets. Large bridge-sized test specimens, including sawn timber and glued-laminated timber members, were fabricated with various internal defects. NDE Technologies evaluated in this research were ground penetrating radar (GPR), microwave scanning, ultrasonic pulse velocity, ultrasonic shear wave tomography, and impact echo methods. Each NDE technology was used to evaluate a set of seven test specimens over a 2-day period and then raw data scans were processed into two-dimensional, internal defect maps. Several parameters were, compared including the relative size, orientation, and moisture conditions of the internal defect. GPR was the most promising NDE technology and is currently being more rigorously evaluated within the laboratory. The study results will be useful in the further development of a reliable NDE scanning technique that can be utilized to inspect the primary structural components in historic covered timber bridges.
Project contacts are Grant Kirker (Forest Products Laboratory), Katie Ohno (Forest Products Laboratory) and C. Elizabeth Stokes (Mississippi State University)
Mass timber, as a renewable prefabricated structural panel material, is seen as highly desirable in the “green” building movement and has excellent thermal insulation, sound insulation, and fire restriction qualities. CLT is one of the more recent additions to the mass timber market worldwide, and although the product has undergone structural property testing in several laboratories, degradation testing of this non-preservative-treated product has only recently been initiated (Singh and Page 2016). Preliminary testing with exposure to Oligoporus placenta and Antrodia xantha indicated that untreated CLT is susceptible to the spread of mold and decay fungi, while treatment with boron somewhat reduced the extent of the decay fungus spread (Singh and Page 2016). These panels are easily handled on-site and have a much higher strength-to-weight ratio than their precast concrete competitors, which make them ideal for rapid construction of modular buildings, including apartment/condominium structures (Van de Kuilen et al. 2011). However, installations using CLT as a primary structural component in humid/damp climates, such as the southeastern United States, may be heavily affected by molds and decay fungi, and effects on CLT strength should be determined prior to widespread use of the product in these areas.
The aim of this study was to assess the durability of commercially available coatings on cross- laminated timber (CLT) during natural and artificial weathering and against wood decay fungus. The CLT samples coated with twelve coatings were tested based on their moisture exclusion, water repellency, volumetric swelling and anti-swelling efficiency. Among all the tested coatings, only five (A, C, F, I and J) were able to promote water repellency and limiting dimensional changes. The top five coatings were then tested on CLT blocks exposed to natural (Starkville-MS and Madison-WI) and artificial weathering conditions and brown-rot fungi (G. trabeum). Variables such as visual ratings, water uptake, color and gloss change were determined during both weathering procedures. Damage caused by Gloeophyllum trabeum on uncoated and coated CLT was analyzed based on visual appearance and weight loss. For the coatings C and F, the visual rakings and color change results indicated high consistency during outdoor exposure. The artificial weathering showed that coating C and F were the most resistant to chalking, lightness, color and gloss change. In the soil block test, coating C obtained satisfactory performance against G. trabeum with weight loss of 1.33%. Coatings F and J did not offer any protection to water penetration, which eventually contributed to fungal development. For future, new coatings specifically designed for the protection of high percentages of end-grain in CLT panels should be a target of research and development.
Field tests of untreated and preservative-treated glulam beams in outdoor exposure, in ground contact and above ground, were inspected for decay after five years. Copper azole and ACQ-D-treated material was in excellent condition, while moderate to severe decay was present in untreated non-durable material. Early stages of decay were also noted in yellow cedar glulam in the above-ground test. Using galvanized rather than stainless steel fasteners appeared to have a protective effect against decay in untreated material, supporting the hypothesis that zinc from the sacrificial coating on galvanized bolts inhibits germination of basidiospores.
The thesis examines the hygrothermal performance of six types of high thermal resistance (High RSI) wall assemblies during environmental exposure and an air leakage (exfiltration) simulation test. These walls were installed in the Building Engineering Group's test facility (BEG Hut) located at the University of Waterloo. The High-RSI wood-frame walls were assessed by analyzing condensation, mould, and decay risks using the moisture content, temperature, relative humidity and heat flux data collected during the field test. These field-measured data were also used to calibrate one-dimensional WUFI® simulation models for each of the High-RSI assembly for use in future durability assessments using a range of North American climates. Methods were investigated to improve the predictive capacity of these simulation models as well as to increase their utility as a research tool. The design, construction and instrumentation details of the High-RSI study were also documented.
International Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium
In this report, wooden members of sizes typically used in bridge construction are examined using x-ray computerized tomography (CT) to determine the presence of internal decay. This report is part of an overall study in which Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) glue-laminated (glulam) beams and solid sawn timbers were inoculated with brown rot fungus, Fomitopsis pinicola, and exposed to aboveground conditions approximately 25 miles (40 km) north of Gulfport, Mississippi, USA. The goal of the overall study is to develop interior decay within the test specimens and then identify and characterize the decay using a variety of nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques. One NDT technique used is x-ray CT. The pixel brightness (PB) of CT scan images is proportional to the specific gravity (SG) at that location; high SG materials appear brighter whereas low SG materials appear darker. The consumption of wood by fungus decreases the wood SG; however, fungal progression takes place in areas where sufficient moisture is present. The presence of moisture increases wood SG as detected by the CT scan, which masks the effect of the fungal decay, which is a common co-occurrence with many NDT techniques. To identify incipient decay, it is necessary to examine the ring structure both within and outside of the area of moisture. Quantifying the extent of the decay requires correlating the PB to known SG values for both dry wood and wood of varying moisture content. In this report, the relationship between wood SG, moisture content, and PB was quantified.
Wood is a highly versatile renewable material (with carbon sequestering properties), that is light in weight, has good strength properties in both tension and compression while providing good rigidity and toughness, and good insulating properties (relative to typical structural materials). Engineered wood products combine the benefits of wood with engineering knowledge to create optimized structural elements. Cross-laminated timber (CLT), as one such engineered wood product, is an emerging engineering material which provides great opportunities for the building industry. While building with wood has many benefits, there are also some concerns, particularly decay. Should wood be exposed to elevated amounts of moisture, rots and moulds may damage the product or even risk the health of the occupants. As CLT panels are a relatively new engineered wood product, the moisture characteristics have yet to be properly assessed.
International Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium
September 24-27, 2013, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
The purpose of this study was to explore the possibilities of using existing nondestructive evaluation (NDE) methods to assess delamination and decay of glulam structures. A glulam arch removed from a research building after more than 75-year service was used as a test specimen. The glulam arch section was tested using stress wave timing, ultrasonic wave propagation, and resistance microdrilling methods at a series of locations. The arch was subsequently cut open for visual inspection and small compression and shear samples were obtained for strength testing. It was found that wave propagation times or wave velocities measured across the laminations were good indicators of internal decay. Stress wave timing and ultrasonic propagation methods were able to detect moderate to large delamination, but not micro-delamination. Resistance micro-drilling was found not effective in detecting delamination. Further research is planned to evaluate the possibility of using pulse-echo method to detect internal delamination of glulam members. Key words: glued laminated timber (glulam), stress wave, ultrasonic wave, resistance micro-drilling, strength, modulus of elasticity.