A study was conducted with the primary objective of gathering information for the development of a protocol for evaluating the surface quality of cross-laminated timber (CLT) products. The secondary objectives were to examine the effect of moisture content (MC) reduction on the development of surface checks and gaps, and find ways of minimizing the checking problems in CLT panels. The wood materials used for the CLT samples were rough-sawn Select grade Hem-Fir boards 25 x 152 mm (1 x 6 inches). Polyurethane was the adhesive used. The development of checks and gaps were evaluated after drying at two temperature levels at ambient relative humidity (RH).
The checks and gaps, as a result of drying to 6% to 10% MC from an initial MC of 13%, occurred randomly depending upon the characteristics of the wood and the manner in which the outer laminas were laid up in the panel. Suggestions are made for minimizing checking and gap problems in CLT panels. The checks and gaps close when the panels are exposed to higher humidity.
Guidelines were proposed for the development of a protocol for classifying CLT panels into appearance grades in terms of the severity of checks and gaps. The grades can be based on the estimated dimensions of the checks and gaps, their frequency, and the number of laminas in which they appear.
In a former paper by the authors , the elastic behavior of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and timber panels having periodic gaps between lateral lamellae has been analyzed. A thick plate homogenization scheme based on Finite Elements computations has been applied. The predicted behavior was in agreement with experimental results. In this paper, simplified closed-form solutions are derived in order to avoid FE modeling. Both cases of narrow gaps of CLT panels and wide gaps of innovative lightweight panels are investigated. CLT and timber panels with gaps are modeled as a space frame of beams connected with wooden blocks. The contribution of both beams and blocks to the panel’s mechanical response is taken into account, leading to closed-form expressions for predicting the panel’s stiffnesses and maximum longitudinal and rolling shear stresses. The derived closed-form solutions are in agreement with the reference FE results and they can be used for practical design purposes.
In the present paper, the influence of periodic gaps between lamellas of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) on the panel’s elastic behavior is analyzed by means of a periodic homogenization scheme for thick plates having periodic geometry. Both small gaps, due to the fabrication process of not-gluing lateral lamellas, and wider gaps are investigated. The results obtained with the periodic homogenization scheme are compared to existing closed-form solutions and available experimental data. It appears that the plate bending stiffness can be well predicted with both homogenization and simplified methods, while only the homogenization approach is in agreement with the experimental in-plane and out-of-plane shear behavior. The influence of several properties of CLT lay-up on the mechanical response is pointed out as well.
The objective of this work is to generate fire performance data for NLT assemblies to address gaps in technical knowledge. This project aims to study how the size of gaps between NLT boards might affect charring of an assembly and its overall fire performance. This research will support designers and builders in the use of mass timber assemblies in larger and taller buildings, by ensuring fire safe designs.
Self-tapping screws (STS) have been proclaimed as the easiest solution for structural timber connections, in special for cross laminated timber (CLT) constructions. In order to understand deeply the composite model “CLT-STS”, an experimental campaign which comprised 270 withdrawal tests was carried out. Maximum withdrawal load capacity of self-tapping screws inserted in plane side of a three layered CLT panel was evaluated considering three main parameters: moisture levels of CLT (i), number of gaps (ii) and the width of gaps (iii). Regarding (i), connections were tested with CLT at 8%, 12% and 18% of moisture content. Concerning (ii) and (iii), different test configurations with 1, 2 and 3 gaps, with 0 or 4mm, were tested. The influences of moisture content and number of gaps were modeled. Further a correlation between test results and a prediction model developed by Uibel and Blaß (2007) has been proposed.
A large experimental campaign comprised of 470 withdrawal tests was carried out, aiming to quantify the withdrawal resistance of self-tapping screws (STS) inserted in the side face of cross laminated timber (CLT) elements. In order to deeply understand the “CLT-STS” composite model, the experimental tests considered two main parameters: (i) simple and cyclic changes on moisture content (MC) and (ii) number and width of gaps. Regarding (i), three individual groups of test specimens were stabilized with 8%, 12% and 18% of moisture content and one group was submitted to a six month RH cycle (between 30% and 90% RH). Concerning (ii), different test configurations with 0 (REF), 1, 2 and 3 gaps, and widths equal to 0mm (GAP0) or 4mm (GAP4), were tested. The influences of MC and number of gaps were modeled by means of least square method. Moreover, a revision of a prediction model developed by Uibel and Blaß (2007) was proposed.
The main findings of the experimental campaign were: the decrease of withdrawal resistance for
specimens tested with MC=18% in most configurations; the unexpected increase of withdrawal resistance as the number of gaps with 0mm increased; and, the surprising increase of withdrawal resistance for REF specimens submitted to the RH cycle.
With new engineered timber products such as cross-laminated timber becoming more prevalent, this study evaluated the current knowledge of tall timber construction to identify gaps in knowledge, and where if fulfilled, will provide a better understanding of the potential fire safety performance of tall timber buildings.
The study identified a number of knowledge gaps, of which most were related directly to the new technology of engineered timber products that have resulted from the use of CLT. These included system-level fire testing, use of composite assemblies, CLT char fall-off and construction fire safety. The study concluded that the priority for future research should target three areas of research, being the contribution of exposed timber to room fires; connections between timber components and timber composite assemblies; and penetrations for building services.