Integrated experimental and numerical study on flexural properties of cross laminated timber made of low-value sugar maple lumber

Yunxiang Ma, Munkaila Musah, Ruizhe Si, Qingli Dai, Xinfeng Xie, Xiping Wang, Robert J. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study is to examine the mechanical performance of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels made of low-value sugar maple under out of plane loads through mechanical tests and numerical simulation. The laminations were sorted into High and Low classes based on the measured modulus of elasticity (MOE). Two 3-layer sugar maple CLT layups as High-Low-High and Low-High-Low glued with resorcinol-based adhesive and one CLT layup of High-Low-High glued with melamine-based adhesive were prepared. Block shear, long-span bending (span-to-depth ratio of 33:1) and short-span bending (5.5:1) tests were conducted to evaluate the bonding, flexural and shear behavior of these low-value sugar maple CLTs. With a limited sample size, the lab-manufactured low-value sugar maple CLT provided a 50% to 80% higher MOE and at least two times higher MOR than CLT type E1 from APA/PRG 320. Similar MOE and MOR improvements were found by comparing CLT made with other species from literatures. The finite element simulation of bending tests was conducted with the orthogonal constitutive law and the progressive damage model based on the calibrated material properties parameters from lumber rating and references. The simulation results on each CLT panel type have a reasonable comparison with experimental test data. Therefore, these integrated experiment and simulation methods can provide detailed mechanical behaviors of the low-value sugar maple CLT, which can also be applied to other CLT species and layup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122508
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
StatePublished - Apr 19 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was conducted through a cooperative research agreement (FS 17-JV-11111133-034) between Michigan Technological University and USDA Forest Service and was partially funded by USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. The authors also thank AJD Forest Products, L.P. (Grayling, MI), for donating the materials for this project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cross-laminated timber (CLT)
  • Finite element modeling
  • Flexural properties
  • Low-value hardwood
  • Static bending test

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