Responsible partners: SerQ (Portugal) and Cesefor (Spain)

Collaborative partner: Ademan(Spain)

Description: The use of wood is facing an increase in its demand for construction purposes, being a key to achieve the objectives of European Commission to be climate-neutral in 2050. Glulam or cross laminated timber (CLT) are the most common used engineered wood products, being CLT responsible for a new Era of mass timber building across the World. Despite softwoods (e.g. Spruce and Scots pine) are still the most common species used, there is a change within the scientific community and timber companies in order to valuate hardwoods as a structural solution.

One of the objectives of the project is to assess through an experimental campaign the use of local hardwoods, namely its use for glulam production, with focus mainly on poplar and beech. Poplar is a fast growing specie and its use is aligned with FAO predictions that states that “by 2050, up to 75% of industrial wood will come from planted forests, and about 50% from fast-growing species”. On the other hand, Spanish beech has been characterized in two quality grades, being the “first quality” (white wood) used mainly for furniture and the “second quality” has no industrial use and this quality will be the focus of the current project.

The main goal of the present experiment is to characterize local hardwoods, through an experimental campaign on boards, which is divided in four main tasks:

  • Visual and physical properties characterization;
  • Non-destructive characterization;
  • Mechanical performance assessment (bending and tensile stresses);
  • Timber-to-timber connections behaviour;

The use of non-destructive (NDT) methods for assessing raw-material mechanical properties is the present and the future of this sector. With its use the consortium aims to provide information about the reliability of NDT’s for the local hardwoods assessment, namely through the use of longitudinal vibration method. Previously, a visual and physical characterization on boards will be performed to determine as example the density.

In order to have a comprehensive analysis of the mechanical properties, both tensile and bending tests on boards are scheduled following the EN 408. A statistical analysis of results will be performed.

Finally, the design of timber structures depends not only on the mechanical properties of the products but also on the connections detail. For that, embedment strength tests are under development on both species.