Forintek has completed a two-year investigation of the NLGA SPS 6 Standard, Special Products Standard for Structural Face-Glued Lumber. The NLGA SPS 6 Standard prescribes product specifications and qualification and quality control requirements for structural products created by edge-gluing and/or fingerjoining lumber segments. Under the NLGA SPS 6 Standard, the design values assigned are based on the visual grade and the stress level achieved in qualification tests on the glue joints.
The project assessed the effect of the following three factors on strength of the NLGA SPS 6 product:
1. Tension proof-loading;
2. Relative location of fingerjoints in adjacent members when fingerjoined material is edge-glued;
3. Strength of the material used to make the NLGA SPS 6 product.
Results showed a positive effect of proof-loading, a minor effect of staggering of fingerjoints, and a highly significant effect of density of raw material on tensile stress of edge-glued specimens. It was confirmed that SPS6 products of greater commercial value can be obtained from lower grade lumber. However, visual grading of SPS 6 products proved to be more difficult than visual grading of lumber, because grade-determining wood characteristics were sometimes hidden in the bond line, and could not be properly identified.
The findings of this project can be used to fine tune the NLGA SPS 6 standard and the other NLGA fingerjoint and face-glued lumber product standards. The project will help the wood industry maximize the utilization of their raw material resource, resulting in increased profitability.
The relationship between proof load level of fingerjoined lumber and degree of cure of adhesive bonds was investigated. Tension tests were completed for two different degrees of cure for a single adhesive. The proof load level determined for the partially cured joints did not cause damage to the joints that survived the proof test.
Preliminary guidelines for determining appropriate proof load levels for testing fingerjoined lumber with partially cured joints were proposed. The proposed guidelines will need to be validated through mill trials to demonstrate their efficacy and reliability to the manufacturer and third party inspection agency.
Tension proof loading has been shown to be effective in eliminating low-strength fingerjoints, and a proof load stress level of 1.3 times the allowable stress value was found to be optimum. This confirms the tension proof loading stress requirement of the Canadian National Lumber Grades Authority (NLGA) for fingerjoined lumber.
Proof loading stress levels were chosen at 1.0, 1.3 and 1.6 times the allowable stress, and loading rates were selected so that target stress was attained in 0.2, 6.0 or 60 seconds. The only effect of loading rate was a small increase in strength values for weaker specimens when tested at faster loading rates, along with increased variability; therefore, it is strongly recommended that very fast loading rates be avoided, and a loading rate be chosen so the desired stress level is attained in about one second.
FPInnovations – Forintek performed this two-year study to provide a sound basis for evaluation of the tension proof-loading of fingerjoined lumber. The findings will be useful to the fingerjoined-lumber industry in refining the process and promoting its benefits to end users and regulators.