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Structural Veneer Based Composite Products from Hardwood Thinning - Part II: Testing of Hollow Utility Poles

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Gilbert, B. P., Underhill, I. D., Bailleres, H. and McGavin, R. L. (2014) Structural Veneer Based Composite Products from Hardwood Thinning - Part II: Testing of Hollow Utility Poles. In: Materials and Joints in Timber Structures. RILEM Bookseries, 9 . Springer Netherlands. ISBN 22110844

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7811-5_57


Australian utility pole network is aging and reaching its end of life, with 70% of the 5 million poles currently in-service nationally installed within the 20 years following the end of World War II. The estimated investment required for the replacement or remedial maintenance of the aging 3.5 millions poles is as high as 1.75 billion dollars. Additionally, an estimated 21,700 high-durability new poles are required each year, representing further investment of 13.5 million dollars per year. Yet, agreements which progressively phase out logging of native forests around Australia have been signed, giving the industry about 25 years to make the transition from Crown native forests to plantations and private forests. As utility poles were traditionally cut from native forest hardwood species, finding solutions to source new poles currently presents a challenge. This paper presents tests on Veneer Based Composite hardwood hollow utility poles manufactured from Gympie messmate (Eucalyptus cloeziana) plantation thinning. Small diameter poles of nominal 115 mm internal diameter and 15 mm wall-thickness were manufactured in two half-poles butt jointed together, using 9 veneers per halfpole. The poles were tested in bending and shear, and experimental test results are presented. The mechanical performance of the hollow poles is discussed and compared to hardwood poles cut from mature trees and of similar size. Future research and different options for improving the current concept are proposed in order to provide a more reliable and cost effective technical solution to the current shortage of utility poles. © RILEM 2014.

Item Type:Book Section
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Gympie messmate plantation thinning hardwood poles hollow utility poles mechanical performance veneer based composite structural products
Subjects:Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Live Archive:01 Jul 2014 04:46
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:44

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