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A Small-Scale Test to Examine Heat Delamination in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Forest Products Laboratory




This paper examines the strength of wood adhesive bonds at high temperatures. The goal of this research is to better understand the conditions of heat delamination in cross laminated timber (CLT) that is exposed to fire. Heat delamination in CLT occurs when one lamination detaches from the composite panel before the char front reaches the bondline. Timber that falls from the panel, as a result of delamination, contributes additional fuel to the fire, which can cause fire regrowth, while the loss of a lamination causes a sudden loss in strength. Currently, to demonstrate that an adhesive does not delaminate, it must pass a full scale (6 m by 3 m) compartment fire test as prescribed in the PRG-320 product standard. In this work, we scaled down the mechanical loads and temperatures to 300 mm lap shear specimens. Seven different adhesives were tested and compared against solid wood controls with the same geometry as the lap shear specimens. Quasi-static tests were run where the specimens were loaded to failure at 25 ◦C and 260 ◦C, when the samples were at thermal equilibrium. Additionally, creep tests were performed where the load and temperature ramp was matched to the adhesive bondline temperatures measured in the large scale PRG-320 tests. With the exception of some of the polyurethane formulations, all adhesives passed the scaled-down creep test that resembles the PRG-320 standard. Of the polyurethane adhesives tested, only one formulation remained intact for the duration of the test. These results can be used to help better predict which adhesives may pass the PRG-320 test prior to full scale testing.


Miyamoto, Byrne; Bechle, Nathan J.; Rammer, Douglas R.; Zelinka, Samuel L. 2021. A Small-Scale Test to Examine Heat Delamination in Cross Laminated Timber (CLT). Forests. 12(2): 232.


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