- Edgar, Russel A.
University of Maine Graduate School
Structural composite lumber (SCL) products often possess significantly higher design values than the top grades of solid lumber, making it a popular choice for both residential and commercial applications. The enhanced mechanical properties of SCL are mainly due to defect randomization and densification of the wood fiber, both largely functions of the size, shape and composition (species) of the wood element. Traditionally, SCL manufacturers have used thin, rectangular elements produced from either moderate density softwoods or low density hardwoods. Higher density hardwood species have been avoided, as they require higher pressures to adequately densify and consolidate the wood furnish. These higher pressures can lead to increased manufacturing costs, damage to the wood fiber and/or a product that is too dense, making it heavy and unreceptive to common mechanical fastening techniques.