Glulam Beams: The Newest Wood Product to Add to Your Vocabulary
Glulam–it’s a funny word to say aloud, but one you should be familiar with if you are into building and the timber industry. Glulam is a mashup of the words glued laminated timber.
As for what they are usually used for, here’s a breakdown:
- As structural elements in buildings, bridges, and other structures
- In timber frame construction
- As arches or curved structural elements
- In roof trusses and other load-bearing elements
WHY USE GLULAM BEAMS IN CONSTRUCTION?
- Strength: Glulam beams are very strong and can support a lot of weight. They are also able to withstand bending and other types of load without deforming permanently.
- Stability: Glulam beams are stable and do not shrink, warp, or twist over time like solid wood beams can. This makes them suitable for use in areas where the beams will be subjected to changes in humidity or temperature.
- Long spans: Glulam beams are able to span long distances without intermediate supports, making them ideal for use in buildings with wide open spaces or in bridges.
- Appearance: Glulam beams can be manufactured to have a smooth, uniform appearance, which makes them attractive for use in exposed structural applications.
- Sustainable: Glulam beams can be made from sustainably harvested or recycled wood, making them a more environmentally friendly choice for construction.
WHAT ARE RELIANCE TIMBER’S MOST POPULAR TYPES OF GLULAM?
Douglas Fir and Yellow Pine are two of the most popular types of wood used in the manufacture of glulam beams. These engineered wood products are made by gluing together layers of smaller dimension lumber to form a larger, stronger structure, and are used in a variety of construction applications. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the properties and characteristics of Douglas Fir and Yellow Pine glulam beams, as well as their applications and benefits.
Douglas Fir is a type of softwood that is native to the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It is known for its strength, durability, and versatility, and is widely used in the construction of homes, buildings, and other structures. Douglas Fir glulam beams are made from layers of Douglas Fir lumber that are glued together using a strong adhesive. The grain of the wood in each layer is oriented perpendicular to the adjacent layers, which gives the beam its strength and structural integrity.
One of the main benefits of Douglas Fir glulam beams is their high strength-to-weight ratio. They are able to withstand significant loads without being excessively heavy, making them a popular choice for use in long-span applications such as bridges and stadiums. Douglas Fir glulam beams are also resistant to shrinkage and warping, which helps to ensure that they remain stable and straight over time.
Yellow Pine, on the other hand, is a type of hardwood that is native to the southeastern United States. It is known for its strength, density, and durability, and is often used in the construction of homes, buildings, and other structures. Yellow Pine glulam beams are made from layers of Yellow Pine lumber that are glued together using a strong adhesive. Like Douglas Fir glulam beams, the grain of the wood in each layer is oriented perpendicular to the adjacent layers, which gives the beam its strength and structural integrity.
One of the main benefits of Yellow Pine glulam beams is their high strength and stiffness. They are able to withstand significant loads without deforming, making them a popular choice for use in structural applications such as floor and roof systems. Yellow Pine glulam beams are also resistant to insect damage and decay, which makes them a suitable choice for outdoor use in areas with high humidity or moisture.
In addition to their strength and durability, Douglas Fir and Yellow Pine glulam beams also have a number of other benefits. They are environmentally friendly, as they are made from a renewable resource and can be recycled or repurposed at the end of their useful life. They are also easy to work with, as they can be cut, shaped, and drilled using standard woodworking tools. And because they are manufactured in a controlled environment, glulam beams are typically more consistent in size and quality than traditional timber beams.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DOUGLAS FIR AND PINE GLULAM BEAMS
There are a few key differences between Douglas Fir and Yellow Pine glulam beams that are worth noting. Douglas Fir glulam beams tend to be stronger and more durable than Yellow Pine beams, but they are also typically more expensive. Yellow Pine beams, on the other hand, are generally less expensive but may not be as strong or durable as Douglas Fir beams. When choosing between the two types of beams, it is important to consider the specific requirements of your project and choose the beam that best meets your needs.
In conclusion, Douglas Fir and Yellow Pine glulam beams are both strong, durable, and versatile engineered wood products that are widely used in construction. Both types of beams have their own unique set of characteristics and benefits, and are suitable for a variety of applications. When deciding which type of beam is best for your project, it is important to consider your specific needs and budget, as well as the environmental and aesthetic factors that may be.
Overall, Douglas Fir and Yellow Pine glulam beams are reliable, cost-effective, and sustainable options for a wide range of construction projects. Whether you are building a new home, adding an extension to an existing structure, or constructing a commercial building, these engineered wood products can provide the strength and stability you need to ensure the success of your project.