North American cross laminated timber is currently made of softwood lumber following the guidelines of the ANSI/APA PRG-320 manufacturing standard. In this study, the potential of manufacturing CLT panels using various hardwood species and engineered wood products (EWP) was investigated for their compatibility and the impact on the dimensional stability and aesthetics of the end products. Yellow birch, trembling aspen, sugar maple, laminated strand lumber (LSL) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) were compared to 100% spruce-pine-fir group species (SPF) lumber made CLT panel. The bond line performance of the assemblies was tested as well as the dimensional stability and appearance of the panels when subjected to conditions with equilibrium moisture contents (EMC) of 4.5%, 12% and 16%. Results showed that higher density hardwood species were prone to delamination. LSL, LVL and trembling aspen yielded promising delamination results. Best overall dimensional stability results were achieved with EWP inclusive configurations. Aesthetic integrity assessment showed that the use of hardwood for the core layer and edge gluing of softwood outer layers had a negative impact. Overall, the study showed a great potential for manufacturing future composite CLT (CCLT) products using EWP and low density hardwood species. The cost premium of using these alternative materials would need to be offset by valuable sets of properties or by a reduction of the manufacturing cost.
The evaluation of damages in large-span timber structures indicates that the predominantly observed damage pattern is pronounced cracking in the lamellas of glued-laminated timber elements. A significant proportion of these cracks is attributed to the seasonal and use-related variations of the internal climate within large buildings and the associated inhomogeneous shrinkage and swelling processes in the timber elements. To evaluate the significance of these phenomena, long-term measurements of climatic conditions and timber moisture content were taken within large-span timber structures in buildings of typical construction type and use. These measurements were then used to draw conclusions on the magnitude and time necessary for adjustment of the moisture distribution to changing climatic conditions. A comparison of the results for different types of building use confirms the expected large range of possible climatic conditions in buildings with timber structures. Ranges of equilibrium moisture content representative of the type and use of building were obtained. These ranges can be used in design to condition the timber to the right value of moisture content, in this way reducing the crack formation due to moisture variations. The results of this research also support the development of suitable monitoring systems which could be applied in form of early warning systems on the basis of climate measurements. Based on the results obtained, proposals for the practical implementation of the results are given.