Compressive Properties of Cross-Laminated Timber Panels Made of Hardwood Tree Species from the Appalachian Region

Alejandro Palacio-Betancur, Sajad Javadinasab Hormozabad, Chad Niman, Paul Masterson, Brent Sturlaugson, Joseph Brewer, Bruce Swetnam, L. Sebastian Bryson, Mariantonieta Gutierrez Soto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels are an innovative wooden product that has gained popularity in recent years because it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, improves construction efficiency, and it is a natural and renewable material. Therefore, the recently released 2021 International Building Code (IBC) include guidelines for CLT panels for the construction of buildings of up to 18 stories. The construction applications of CLT panels as well as the research initiatives have largely centered on softwood tree species such as laminates, and the application of hardwood species has yet to be investigated. This paper documents the structural behavior of several hardwood species abundant in the Appalachian region and demonstrates the promising feasibility of using these species in the construction industry with CLT panels considering the architectural and structural behavior and economic aspects. The hardwood tree species selected are abundant in the Appalachian region and this paper highlights their potential as a construction material and provides an insight for future development. Three hardwood species including red maple, sweetgum, and sycamore are considered for this study, and three- and five-ply panels are fabricated to evaluate their behavior. The samples are tested in three directions for compression to understand the orthotropic behavior. Considering the softwood species including southern yellow pine and Douglas fir as a baseline for comparison, a total of 120 samples are tested and evaluated based on ASTM standards. The results show an average higher compressive strength from sweetgum panels followed by red maple, sycamore, Douglas fir, and southern yellow pine in the main directions used for structural walls. The findings imply a potential market for the underutilized hardwood species in Appalachia, which may lead to future economic development in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4022043
JournalJournal of Architectural Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society of Civil Engineers.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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