The Canadian lumber industry has identified, as a high priority, the establishment of a multi-year Lumber Properties Program that pulls together a number of urgent initiatives currently underway to establish and/or maintain Canadian lumber design values. The desire is to have an overall program that emphasizes the proper development of a longer-term strategic plan and process to deal with current and future initiatives. Combining the current industry resources with Federal Government contributions through Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the first step in the Program has been completed: to gather the various initiatives now underway and to begin the formal development of pan-Canadian policies to guide the development, implementation and on-going maintenance of such initiatives.
The key activities in 2006-07 were:
Launching of the pilot phase of the on-going monitoring program, and development of a simulation model to assist in determining what sort of trends can be reliably detected and which cannot;
Completion of the in-grade testing program on Canadian Norway spruce;
Analysis of the No.2 2x4 Hem-Fir (N) monitoring study and confirmation of the appropriateness of assigned design values;
Identification of an alternative species grouping procedure for further study;
Starting of a process under the ASTM Committee on Wood to address gaps in the Grade Quality Index provisions in ASTM Practice D1990, and
Establishing a forum for engaging the US in discussions on lumber properties issues.
Lumber properties issues crucial to maintaining the competitiveness of Canadian lumber continue to be the same as in previous years: tests and means to adjust for sample representativeness using the Grade Quality Index (GQI), species grouping and re-grouping procedures, and on-going lumber monitoring. As a result, discussion on a pan-Canadian strategy and supporting policies necessary to support Canadian lumber initiatives tend to focus on these three issues. The challenge is to ensure that these issues are dealt with in a way that balances both short and longer-term needs and provides a net overall benefit to the Canadian industry.
This report summarizes the progress from Year 3 of the multi-year Lumber Properties project. All activities continue to conform to the guiding principles adopted by the Lumber Properties Steering Committee (LPSC) at the start of the program. This year the first steps were taken in preparing information for discussion with the new American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) Lumber Properties Task Group (TG). Work continues on the review of the Norway spruce testing program and the development of an on-going monitoring program.
The program has enabled the wider industry group represented by the LPSC, to be involved in monitoring progress on the program and providing strategic direction. The support has also enabled the program to retain the necessary statistical support from the University of British Columbia to not only address Canadian lumber property issues, but also contribute to technical discussions at the ALS Lumber Properties TG.
This report summarizes the progress from Year 4 of the multi-year Lumber Properties project. All activities continue to conform to the guiding principles adopted by the Lumber Properties Steering Committee (LPSC) at the start of the program. This year support was provided to statisticians from the University of British Columbia’s Department of Statistics to meet and work with researchers and statisticians from the US Forest Products Laboratory (USFPL) in Madison, WI. All physical testing under the ongoing monitoring pilot study was also completed, allowing the UBC statisticians to continue work refining their global lumber properties simulator. Work is continuing on the collection of secondary properties for Norway spruce and on the analysis of the data collected to-date.
No activities requiring significant resources were carried out under the Resource Assessment and the Special Products Initiative. Instead, these resources were redirected to cover shortfalls in the provincial funding under the Strategic Framework Initiative, so that the statistical work with the USFPL could continue.
A new National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA) standard for evaluating structural wood adhesives has been approved by the NLGA Board and will be available shortly for use by Canadian fingerjoined lumber manufacturers. Development of this document was in response to an urgent industry need to provide a procedure for evaluating structural wood adhesives other than phenol resorcinol formaldehyde or resorcinol formaldehyde (PRF/RF). While these adhesive have performed satisfactorily for many years, not having a means for evaluating newer adhesive technology severely limited the ability of Canadian glued wood product manufacturers to maintain the competitiveness of their products.
When adhesives offering lower overall manufacturing costs or light-coloured bond lines were made available to manufacturers of competing wood products, Canadian manufacturers were not able to take advantage of these adhesives. This forced Canadian manufacturers to use overseas or US adhesive standards. While this provided a solution, it created an awkward situation where Canadian production could not be used in Canada because the adhesive did not meet the requirements of the Canadian wood product standard and thus the Canadian building code.
The development of the new NLGA adhesive standard occurred in two stages. The first stage, which was funded under the Canadian Forest Service Value-Added program, consisted of the following: a survey of industry stakeholder needs; a review of existing North American and overseas structural wood adhesive and glued wood product standards; and drafting and verification of the proposed standard in an inter-laboratory test. Two working groups were established: an Industry Working Group (IWG) consisting of several Canadian lumber and glued lumber producers; and an adhesive manufacturers group consisting of several Canadian and US manufacturers of wood adhesives. At the completion of the planned program, it was the opinion of the project team that the proposed standard and supporting technical information could only be used to assess structural wood adhesives for dry service conditions. Although it was estimated that nearly all of the glued wood applications, especially those involving alternative adhesives, would be for dry service conditions, the IWG and the NLGA Standards Committee (NLGASC) recommended that additional effort be put into developing a standard that would be suitable for wet or exterior use.
The rationale for this request was that although most of the applications would be for dry service conditions, the need to mark the product as being only suitable for such conditions would give the end-user the appearance that the product is “inferior” to a competing product without such markings. This would be the case in the US market where a US producer using the same adhesive would not be required to mark the product as “intended for dry service conditions only”.
The research program was subsequently extended, which is the subject of this report.