Paper Province supports research on cross-laminated timber

Researcher Johan Vessby at Karlstad University has received a grant from Paper Province to investigate areas of use for residual products of cross-laminated timber to develop industrial timber construction.

In Sweden, there is plenty of access to wood raw materials and extensive experience of timber construction. Building with wood has many environmental benefits. It is a renewable and environmentally friendly material that binds carbon dioxide. Public purchasers such as municipalities are showing a growing interest in wooden buildings. Today, for example, many public buildings in Sweden, such as schools and sports arenas, are built from wood.

Cross-laminated timber, also known as CLT, is one example of a building material that is growing in popularity in the construction industry, thanks to its environmental advantages, light weight and strength. But despite the advantages, there are also challenges associated with building modern timber structures increasingly higher.

Whether you are building a concrete skyscraper or a tall wooden building, there is a risk that the building will eventually ”settle”, meaning that the construction moves downwards over time due to the gravity.

Withstands four times the load

One person who has tried to find solutions to this problem is Johan Vessby, building engineering researcher at Karlstad University. Together with a research group, he works to develop boards developed from residuals of CLT boards to reduce settlement in large and tall timber buildings in various ways. Residual products arise in the production of CLT panels, for example, when cutting out windows and doors.

By utilising these residual products, another problem is solved at the same time. The surplus CLT can be cut into boards that have very good properties thanks to their special layering with both vertical and horizontal wood fibres. A board made of CLT can withstand four times the load of a normal wooden board. This is an important step towards being able to build up to ten floors with standard timber joist frames in the future, without the building risking problematic “settlements”.

A board made of CLT can withstand four times the load of a normal wooden board.

Grant from Paper Province

Johan Vessby’s team has been granted SEK 360,000 by Paper Province to carry out a six-month study to find more areas of use for residual products of cross-laminated timber, for purposes other than sill plates. The project is being carried out by Johan Vessby, project manager, technical specialist Mikael Perstorper, project assistant Emil Lockner and additional colleagues. Research grants are important measures to discover new innovative products that will further develop the construction sector and to provide the industry with ways to build more advanced products.

“The research is intended to improve and further develop timber construction, with the aim of building more environmentally smart in the future. Support from Paper Province and the region of Värmland plays an important role in continuing this type of development, but it is also important that producing companies are involved in these types of projects. This is part of the process of developing and making the most of the wood material,” says Johan Vessby.

Major investment in wood research

Karlstad University is actively working to develop its wood research and the group, together with its partners, has in the last year received about SEK 13 million from various funders to develop timber construction. The university works closely with companies like Moelven, Derome, Hilmer Andersson and Stora Enso, among others. Paper Province comes in as an important financier but is also the intermediary of contacts within the industry.

Johan Vessby’s team has received a grant from Paper Province to investigate more areas of use for residual products of cross-laminated timber.