Project contact is Henry Quesada at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The goal of this project is to create a new market for hardwood use in the manufacturing of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. Currently, the CLT code PRG-320, only accepts selected softwood species for the manufacturing of CLT panels and all work conducted on increasing hardwood use in CLT’s has focused on producing and using them as structural components. In this project, we will focus on creating an opportunity to increase hardwood use in CLT by adding hardwood to the outer layers of CLT’s, primarily for its visual appearance. Many CLT panels are used as wall and flooring components and other materials are added for decorative walls and flooring. By using hardwood on the outer layers of softwood CLT’s, we can increase hardwood use. Hardwood veneer and lumber will be added to the outer layers of CLT panel cores made from southern yellow pine in compliance with PRG-320. This project will partner with Danzer Veneer America, Allegheny Wood Products (AWP), and Texas CLT to manufacture and evaluate the performance and potential market acceptance of CLT panels made with hardwood veneer and lumber on the outer layers. We will evaluate for delamination of the hardwood veneer and lumber from the softwood core and determine what influence the hardwood layers have on the strength properties of CLT. We will conduct a market perception test of the hardwood veneer laminated CLT panels among architects and structural designers in the U.S. We believe that the results of this work could increase the market for hardwood veneers and lumber by 10% of the current consumption.