Background and Objectives:
In the near future, in Europe a raised availability of hardwoods is expected. One possible sales market is the building sector, where medium dense European hardwoods could be used as load bearing elements. For the hardwood species beech, oak, and sweet chestnut technical building approvals already allow the production of hardwood glulam. For the species maple and ash this is not possible yet. This paper aims to evaluate the economic feasibility of glulam production from low dimension ash and maple timber from thinnings. Therefore, round wood qualities and the resulting lumber qualities are assessed and final as well as intermediate yields are calculated. Materials and Methods:
81 maple logs and 79 ash logs cut from trees from thinning operations in mixed (beech) forest stands were visually graded, cant sawn, and turned into strength-graded glulam lamellas. The volume yield of each production step was calculated. Results:
The highest volume yield losses occur during milling of round wood (around 50%) and “presorting and planning” the dried lumber (56%–60%). Strength grading is another key process in the production process. When grading according to DIN 4074-5 (2008), another 40%–50% volume loss is reported, while combined visual and machine grading only produces 7%–15% rejects. Conclusions:
Yield raise potentials were identified especially in the production steps milling, presorting and planning and strength grading.
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