Grant Supports Research on Cross-Laminated Timber

2 April 2024

Washington State University researchers have received a two-year grant to make more resilient and durable housing materials from thermally-modified cross laminated timber (CLT) and recycled carbon fiber.

The researchers, including Pouria Bahmani, assistant professor and Karl Englund,  research professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, along with Hui Li, assistant research professor in the Composite Materials & Engineering Center, are collaborating with Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) in Port Angeles and Construction Engineering Research Laboratory to explore ways to use advanced thermally-modified CLT material in deployable structures, with a goal of extending its application to single- and two-story residential buildings.

As part of the project, the researchers will analyze the structure and materials and evaluate the possibility of mass-producing these panels — a one-of-a-kind initiative in the Pacific Northwest.

“One primary objective of this project is to develop methods for connecting the panels together, facilitating the construction of modular and deployable structures,” Bahmani said. “We utilize steel connections and will conduct thorough testing to ensure the safety and durability of these structures.”

CLT is an engineered wood product typically used for construction. It consists of layers of wood boards stacked in alternating directions and bonded together with structural adhesives. This cross-lamination technique enhances the strength and stability of the timber panels, allowing them to bear heavy loads and resist deformation.

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