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Individual Highlight

Blast-Resistant Testing for Loaded Mass Timber Structures

Photo of All three structures remained standing after the testing – even tests designed to take the structures well beyond their design intent.All three structures remained standing after the testing – even tests designed to take the structures well beyond their design intent.Snapshot : The ability of cross laminated timbers to resist nearby detonations is verified through blast testing.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Senalik, Christopher Adam 
Research Location : Tyndell AFB
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2018
Highlight ID : 1450

Summary

Two story structures constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT) were subjected to nearby detonations in order to evaluate the resistance of CLT structures to blast waves while under load. Testing was performed at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. The first series of testing included two detonations that demonstrated the ability of axially-loaded CLT to resist blast loads. A further series of tests were conducted with a blast load that was thought to be sufficient to cause complete failure and collapse of the CLT structures.  A five-ply CLT structure survived with minor damage.  A three-ply structure had substantial damage, but the primary failure of that structure was the connections.  Both structures remained standing after the test.  This testing demonstrates the strength of CLT structures while highlighting the speed of construction.  Wood products have been significantly underrepresented in Department of Defense (DoD) construction due to perceived blast performance.  The results of these tests will be used to develop construction guidelines by the US Army Corp of Engineers Protective Design Center.  With those guidelines in place, the DoD can begin construction using CLT with the assurance of its protective qualities.  It is estimated that opening the CLT market to the DoD could increase lumber demand by 148,000 million board feet.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
  • DRJohnson
  • Jacobs
  • K&C Engineering
  • MyTiCon
  • Nordic
  • Smartlam
  • WoodWorks
  •   Lendlease
  •   RTL