No matter the industry or specialized task, it will always be someone’s job to ensure that cutting-edge developments pass every conceivable test before becoming publicly-available. In the wood-based construction industry, all new products (preservatives, fasteners, panels, etc.) must be third-party tested and evaluated against certain important standards before going to market.
According to a recent article from The Architect’s Newspaper, the applications of cross-laminated timber (CLT) could be expanding significantly in the coming years. The article states that CLT could eventually be used in mid-rise buildings as it grows from applications that are more commonly close to the ground, such as your typical residential two-story home. The article goes on to state that increased usage of CLT for new construction projects will be heavily based on the amount of work industry experts put into analyzing current construction codes. “With CLT, everything rotates like a rigid body under seismic stresses,” John van de Lindt, of Colorado State University, told The Architect’s Newspaper. “Panels do not deform enough to dissipate energy and suck load right into them,” he added.
The construction of CLT requires the cutting of timber, accurate layout, adhesive application and then pressing the final product together. For me, it’s the adhesive aspect that has me the most interested. That’s because I have conducted bond integrity tests on new or existing wood-based products. According to the article, the use of adhesives sometimes includes either melamine urea-formaldehyde resins or polyurethane; the former can hardened when exposed to heat while the latter will soften. Builders and architects rely upon standardized testing to determine the in service performance and properties of any new product. The wood adhesive industry is rapidly developing new technology for several applications, and I am excited about the new adhesives that will be developed for CLT.
Meet the Author
Dr. Todd Shupe is the President of Wood Science Consulting, LLC. He is a well-recognized expert on wood forensics, wood preservation, wood decay and degradation, and wood species identification. He has a broad background in new product development, quality management, and marketing and sales in both the public and private sectors. For more information please visit DrToddShupe.com.
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