The research team, led by associate professor Mahmud Ashraf from Deakin’s School of Engineering, will test and analyse the strength limits of CLT. A key factor in the analysis is the differences between timber species used in CLT production around the world.
The research aims to verify the relative performance of Australian-made CLT, its building applications and how it can be optimised for use in different structures. In particular, one objective of the project is to improve understanding of the load bearing capacity of this type of CLT to ensure it is used in the broadest range of applications in the most efficient way.
The results of the research will improve understanding of the way CLT panels work together as a system and provide engineers and builders with critical information to improve construction methods.
CLT’s high strength-to-weight ratio means it can be used in long spans, allowing for a simplified building structure and the ability to supply prefabricated panels also adds to the potential for cost savings and eliminating scaffolding in the building process.
XLam Australia supplied Deakin with 3.6 tons of mass CLT panels as part of a recently formed collaboration.
The panels vary in thickness from 105mm to 145mm, the most commonly used in mass timber construction.
XLam’s head of Marketing, Strategy and Sustainability, Dr Paul Kremer reportedly said the research work at Deakin would help industry continue to push advancements in the understanding of CLT’s potential.
“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.”■