Nowadays, the impact of knots on the failure behaviour of glued laminated timber (GLT) beams is considered by subjecting the single lamellas to a strength grading process, where, i.a., tracheid effect-based laser scanning is used to obtain information about knot properties. This approach single-handedly defines the beam’s final strength properties according to current standards. At the same time, advanced production processes of such beams would allow an easy tracking of a scanned board’s location, but, at this point, previously obtained detailed information is already disregarded. Therefore, the scanning data is used to virtually reconstruct knot geometries and group them into sections within GLT beams. For this study, a sample of 50 GLT beams of five different configuration types was produced and tested under static four-point-bending until failure. As for each assembled lamella the orientation and position within the corresponding GLT beam is known, several parameters derived from the reconstructed knots can be correlated to effective GLT properties. Furthermore, the crack patterns of the tested beams are manually recorded and used to obtain measures of cracks. A detailed analysis of the generated data and their statistical evaluation show that, in the future, dedicated mechanical models for such timber elements must be developed to realistically predict their strength properties. A potential approach, using fluctuating section-wise effective material properties, is proposed.
Knots and the resulting fibre deviations around them have significant impact on the mechanical properties of timber boards. Subsequently, the effective mechanical properties of timber products, such as glued laminated timber (GLT), are strongly influenced by those timber board properties. This motivated the development of an algorithm for reconstructing the knot morphology within individual timber boards, which is presented and discussed in this work. Furthermore, the link to the effective mechanical behaviour of GLT by using stochastic simulation techniques is explored, allowing the estimation of effective mechanical properties of GLT based on the morphology of individual timber boards.