The aim of the project is to demonstrate the technical and economic benefits and viability of manufacturing laminated veneer lumber (LVL) using wood grown within the Community. This is to include species which are abundant and whose resources are being maintained and developed.
French grown poplar and British Sitka spruce will be used to manufacture experimental LVL on a commercial scale. In addition, Irish Sitka spruce, Danish Sitka spruce and French maritime pine will be used to manufacture LVL on a laboratory scale.
An up to date, detailed study will be performed of the feasibility and economics of LVL production in locations within the Community. Proposed locations are to be selected on the basis of raw materials accessibility and further techno-economic factors. Aspects to be addressed include examining the existing and potential markets, and reviewing the types of structure in which LVL might be used. The market assessment is also to include a consideration of the technical needs for the product in terms of its performance and dimensions in relation to its various end uses.
As a main item of the project, experimental LVL is to be manufactured on an industrial scale. Production is to be of two types, consisting of French grown Poplar and British grown Sitka spruce. Some of the production variables are likely to differ for these two species.
In view of the aim, it is necessary to conduct research on more than two types of material. However, it is not feasible to manufacture large quantities of LVL on an industrial scale. Consequently, it is planned to make further research material on a laboratory scale, laid up in much smaller panels.
It is known that the attributes of plantation grown wood are highly variable with respect to factors such as provenance, and location within the tree stem, hence it is necessary to characterize the raw material used in the project. Included are measurements of age, knots, density and gross fibre angle. Indicative strength properties will also be measured.
One of the main items of the project involves the determination of the characteristics of the experimental LVL produced in full size on an industrial basis. Only selected key properties will be tested and assessed, since a type approval characterization is not required. Comparisons will be made with an established LVL which is already being manufactured on a daily basis by an industrial participant. Part of the work is an assessment of the creep and duration of load influences on the behaviour of the experimental LVL in comparison with this standard commercial LVL.
Comparisons will also be made between the performance of LVL produced from material from the same source, on both a laboratory and an industrial scale. One of the aims of the laboratory scale manufacture will be to evaluate alternative adhesive systems, since the gluing process may be both technically and economically critical.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts