Performance of glue-laminated beams from Malaysian Dark Red Meranti timber

  • Chee Beng Ong

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


In this study, Malaysian Dark Red Meranti (DRM) was used to manufacture glulam beams, following closely the requirements of BS EN 14080:2013 so as to emulate commercial production. Phenol resorcinol formaldehyde (PRF), commonly used in structural glulam production, was used in the fabrication of finger joints and laminations of the glulam beams. Factors influencing the mechanical properties of finger joints and bonding performance of laminations were investigated. Full size glulam beams were manufactured and tested in bending with partial and complete carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) reinforcement on the tension face and compared with the performance of unreinforced beams. A bench-scale fire test was proposed to describe the behaviour of DRM finger joints in tension under fire condition, in order to simulate the failure of finger joints on the tension side of a glulam beam in a standard fire test.Overall, DRM finger joints exhibited better bending strength than Spruce finger joints which represented softwood used in European glulam. Wood density and end pressure were shown to affect the strength properties of the finger joints. Higher cramping pressure was needed to produce DRM laminations with higher shear strength. The glulam beam with CFRP reinforcement had a higher bending strength than the unreinforced glulam beams but partial reinforcement had an adverse effect on beam strength. In the bench-scale fire test, DRM finger-jointed specimens exhibited lower charring rate than Spruce. Furthermore, PRF finger-jointed specimens showed better fire performance than finger-jointed specimens bonded with polyurethane (PUR) adhesive.In conclusion, it is hoped that results from this research will motivate engineers and architects in Malaysia to design and build structures from less-utilised local timber, specifically in the form of glulam, encouraging the timber industry in Malaysia to produce them commercially.
Date of Award27 Apr 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorPete Walker (Supervisor), Martin Ansell (Supervisor) & Wen-Shao Chang (Supervisor)

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