Bending tests were conducted with cross laminated timber (CLT) panels made using an alternating layer arrangement. Boards of Norway spruce were used to manufacture five-layer panels on an industrial CLT production line. In total, 20 samples were tested, consisting of two CLT configurations with 10 samples of each type: transverse layers at 45° and the conventional 90° arrangement. Sample dimensions were 95 mm × 590 mm × 2000 mm. The CLT panels were tested by four point bending in the main load-carrying direction in a flatwise panel layup. The results indicated that bending strength increased by 35% for elements assembled with 45° layers in comparison with 90° layers. Improved mechanical load bearing panel properties could lead to a larger span length with less material.
Wood is a pure, sustainable, renewable material. The increasing use of wood for construction can improve its sustainability. There are various techniques to assemble multi-layer wooden panels into prefabricated, load-bearing construction elements. However, comparative market and economy studies are still scarce. In this study, the following assembling techniques were compared: laminating, nailing, stapling, screwing, stress laminating, doweling, dovetailing, and wood welding. The production costs, durability, and ecological considerations were presented. This study was based on reviews of published works and information gathered from 27 leading wood product manufacturing companies in six European countries. The study shows that the various techniques of assembling multi-layer wooden construction panel elements are very different. Cross laminated timber (CLT) exhibited the best results in terms of cost and durability. With regard to ecological concerns, dovetailing is the best. Taking into account both durability and ecological considerations, wooden screw-doweling is the best. These alternatives give manufacturers some freedom of choice regarding the visibility of surfaces and the efficient use of lower-quality timber. CLT is the most cost-effective, is not patented, and is a well-established option on the market today.