Every year, glued beams are increasingly used in construction in our country. It is used even for the construction of large-span buildings for sports, entertainment and commercial purposes: water parks, pools, skating rinks, storage complexes.
All the advantages and benefits of glued beams are explained by the process of its production, which consists of several stages. The most common material for laminated veneer lumber is pine and spruce; less commonly, larch and cedar are used. At the first stage, the logs are spread out on the boards of the required size and thoroughly dried. Their humidity is significantly lower, because unlike a massive solid timber, boards are much easier to dry. After that, the material is checked for visible defects and damaged areas are removed. After the boards are dried, treated with flame retardants and antiseptics, they are planed. Of these carefully dried, sorted boards, which are called lamellas, the timber is glued on special presses. Lamels can be from 2 to 5, which makes it possible to make the beam quite “thick” – the maximum thickness reaches 250 mm. For bonding use special high-strength waterproof adhesives that do not violate the ability of wood to “breathe”. The bonding quality is in accordance with international standards.
Another feature in the manufacture of glued beams is that when gluing into a single beam, the direction of wood fibers, or, as they are also called, “annual rings”, in the lamellas is set in opposite directions from each other. Due to this, glued beams are more durable compared to ordinary beams. When humidity changes, it does not change its shape, that is, it doesn’t “lead”, sound-proofing properties increase, and possible internal stresses are compensated.
Thanks to modern gluing technology, it has become possible to use glued wood in almost all structural elements of a wooden house (for wall beams, rafters, floor beams, etc.). The widespread use of glued wood is due to its undoubted advantages over solid wood. We list the main ones:
- High surface quality, which is explained by the fact that knots and defects are cut out from wood before gluing, the workpieces are selected by color, texture. Therefore, glued wood products have a flawless appearance.
- Stability of geometric dimensions. Unlike solid glued wood, it retains its shape and size over time. It does not shrink, does not curl or bend. This is due to the absence of internal stresses in glued wood, as well as the fact that it is made from pre-dried raw materials.
- Strength. Glued wood structures have a 50-70% greater strength than solid wood.
- High thermal performance of a wooden house. Profiled glued beams are tightly connected during assembly, so there is no need to put insulation in the grooves between them. In addition, the profile of the bars is calculated so that rainwater does not fall between them. This protects the structure from the occurrence of foci of decay. This factor significantly reduces the cost of acquiring and operating expensive individual heating equipment, and transporting fuel.
- The surface of the glued beam, made in compliance with all technological requirements, is even and smooth. A wall assembled from such a beam looks monolithic. Exterior decoration is practically not needed.
- The terms for building a house from glued beams, of course, are incomparably shorter than the periods for building houses from a solid beam. Since all parts are manufactured with high accuracy in the factory at a constant temperature and humidity, the assembly of the house structure is quick and easy, installation on the finished foundation does not exceed 5-6 weeks. In addition, a house made of glued timber does not require time to shrink (shrinkage of a house does not exceed 1%, in contrast to a profiled beam, which shrinks at 7%). This allows you to significantly save on the timing of finishing work and build houses all year round. The practical absence of shrinkage allows, for example, to put modern stained-glass windows of any size in the house. Another undoubted advantage of glued wood is the ability to conduct covert wiring of utilities, for example, in poles, wooden beams, ceilings. And finally, glued beams – almost finished facade material.
Construction is on the verge of a technological revolution. Further development of the industry will be associated primarily with the use of new generation materials. At the same time, glued wood in their list will probably take one of the leading positions.