A new research investigation into Australian-made Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) has begun in order to find the full potential of the construction material.
CLT is mass engineered timber made up of layers laminated together in opposing directions to create an extremely strong product. The material has a high strength to weight ratio, meaning it can be used in long spans, which allows for a simplified building structure.
The material can also be supplied in prefabricated panels, which adds to the potential cost savings and eliminate scaffolding in the building process.
The Deakin University research team, led by Associate Professor Mahmud Ashraf from Deakin’s School of Engineering, will explore various approaches to connecting the large format panels for achieving efficient structural solutions.
“We want to improve our understanding of the load bearing capacity of this new type of CLT to ensure it is used in the broadest range of applications in the most efficient way,” Ashraf said.
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Australian-made is a relatively new product, however it has seen use in Europe for decades. Unlike Europe, Australian CLT is made using different grades of timber lamellas.
Because of the differences in timber species used in its production, research is needed to verify the relative performance of the Australian-made version and how it can be used in the building process.
XLam Australia has supplied Deakin with 3.6 tonnes of mass CLT panels as part of a recent collaboration. The panels vary in thickness from 105 millimetres to 145 millimetres, which are some of the most commonly used in mass timber construction.
XLam’s Head of Marketing, Strategy and Sustainability, Paul Kremer said the research work at Deakin will help the industry continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.
“Supporting the work of the Deakin research team will drive innovation which we believe is a worthwhile investment. We plan to continue our work with Deakin to support further research efforts,” Kremer said.