Project contact is Xinfeng Xie at Michigan Technological University (United States)
Hardwoods dominate the eastern forests in the U.S. and support the hardwood lumber industry of the nation. However, the fast-growing mass timber market has not been shared with the hardwood lumber that has similar environmental benefits as the softwoods. Two leading factors preventing hardwood lumber from entering into the CLT market are the difficulties perceived by the industry in sourcing large-volume structural hardwood lumber and in the compatibility of hardwood lumber with the existing manufacturing infrastructures designed for softwoods. This project aims at addressing those concerns through demonstration of repurposing commercially available low appearance grade red maple into CLT laminations using finger-jointing and existing structural lumber grading methods and establishing a basic CLT type of red maple with confirmed design values according to ANSI/APA PRG 320 standard. Through this collaboration of the industries and two universities located at the heart of U.S. hardwood lumber industry, the project results will provide base-line references for both hardwood lumber producers and CLT manufactures in using northern red maple for CLT.