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Towards reducing the capital cost of manufacturing Laminated Veneer Lumbers: Investigating finger jointing solutions

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Gilbert, B. P., Davies, T. E., McGavin, R. L. and Dowse, C. J. (2024) Towards reducing the capital cost of manufacturing Laminated Veneer Lumbers: Investigating finger jointing solutions. Construction and Building Materials, 411 . p. 134158. ISSN 0950-0618


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2023.134158

Publisher URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S095006182303876X


The capital cost of setting up a Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) plant which produces continuous LVL billet products, through a continuous veneer assembly and hot-pressing processes, is significant. However, the utilisation of batch-type presses, similar to those employed in the plywood industry, could significantly reduce this initial cost and may provide new opportunities for small to medium scale operations. This process would produce shorter billet lengths which would need to be joined together to produce lengths viable for structural products. Scarf joints have been used commercially to join some veneer-based engineered wood products but have limitations, while finger joints are a common method for jointing sawn timber products and offer some key advantages but is not a common method to join veneer-based products. Consequently, this paper focusses on investigating the influence of key manufacturing parameters on the performance of finger jointed LVL. The effect of the joint orientation (horizontal or vertical), the finger length, the gluing pressure and the adhesive type on the joint strength and stiffness were investigated. The finger jointed LVL were tested in edge bending, flat bending and tension, and the results were compared to reference unjointed LVL. The bending performance of the finger jointed LVL was also compared to scarfed jointed LVL. In total 304 tests were performed. The results indicated that the average strength values of finger jointed LVL can reach up to 99% of the average strength of unjointed LVL and compares to scarf jointed LVL on flat bending. Horizontal joints, being more practical to produce for deep beams, performed similarly to vertical joints. The 25 mm joints were found to have no mechanical advantages over the 20 mm investigated finger joints. A gluing pressure lower than the Eurocode's recommended level for solid timber achieved sufficient bonding for the products to be utilised. The gluing pressure was also found not to influence the performance of the joint, for the range of pressures investigated. Both polyurethane and resorcinol-formaldehyde adhesives produced high performing products, with the latter displaying superior adhesive bond durability. The paper concludes that finger jointing LVL represents a viable solution to manufacture usable LVL lengths from short LVL billets, but have lower edge bending efficiency than scarf jointed LVL.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) Finger joints Structural performance Continuous LVL
Subjects:Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Forestry > Forestry machinery and engineering
Forestry > Exploitation and utilization
Live Archive:12 Dec 2023 00:45
Last Modified:12 Dec 2023 00:45

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