The main objective of this work was to study the structural viability of using small-diameter logs of Uruguayan Loblolly/Slash pine, mainly from thinning operations, to design cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. A visual grade named “CTH” (coniferous thinning) was proposed, and 45 specimens of sawn timber boards were tested, resulting in 51% lower bending strength than that of the minimum strength class C14. Subsequently, 20 CLT panels were manufactured and experimentally tested, the results showed that the bending strength of the CLT panels was 43% above that of the individual layers. Additionally, the structural performance of the CLT panels for use in floors was calculated, and the thickness-span relationship depending on strength class and imposed load are presented. Results showed than the use of CTH timber to design CLT floors implies a volume (m3/m2) 17% higher than that using C24 timber.
Due to the high volume of timber required for manufacturing, the production of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels could be an appropriate destiny for the existing surplus of pinewood presently available in Uruguay. Although wood construction is uncommon in this country, there are some companies with the capacity to adapt their production to new products such as CLT. This work evaluates the properties of CLT panels manufactured in Uruguay with local pine (Pinus taeda and Pinus elliiottii) from forest plantation thinning, which typically present low mechanical properties. Boards and panels were mechanically tested and the mechanical properties were determined, showing a strength class lower than C14. A numerical model, using the finite element method, was developed and the numerical results were compared with the experimental values. The results provided a first approach to the conditions and limitations of the use of CLT panels for building floors, produced under the current manufacturing conditions in Uruguay.