Glulam is a type of structural wood product used for structural and decorative applications. Unlike conventional sawn timber, glulam is a combination of several layers of lumber that are bonded together with powerful adhesives. This allows for a stronger beam. In addition, glulam is more resistant to moisture and fire.
Glulam can be used to build a wide variety of structures, from bridges and prefabricated elements to roof space and swimming pool structures. Its unique structural properties allow for excellent durability in highly corrosive environments. Typically, glulam is more expensive than other types of timber, but its superior strength makes it a good choice for construction projects.
Glulam can be manufactured into a wide variety of shapes, allowing for a number of decorative options. However, glulam is a material that needs to be treated with precautions to protect it from the weather. Generally, the timber should be covered with a plastic sheet before it is installed. It should also be kept in dry, enclosed conditions until it is ready for use. It is also advisable to use fabric slings to help prevent scratches on the surface.
Glulam is a more durable and stronger material than solid-wood beams. It can be manufactured in a variety of widths and depths, though it isn't typically produced in widths less than three inches. It is also very flexible to meet specific structural requirements. Because of this, it can be used to create a variety of beams in a variety of shapes. Its flexibility also allows it to span long distances without needing additional support.
Glulam is commonly used to manufacture beams in structural applications. Its strength makes it a better option than concrete for structural applications. When using a glulam beam, make sure that it meets the specifications of AWC's National Design Specification. There are also field recommendations developed by the glulam industry. They are based on engineering analysis and practical experience.
While LVL is typically cheaper than glulam, it does have some disadvantages. It is made of thin veneers that are laid in parallel. It is intended to be hidden, so it is not suitable for exposed areas. In addition, it has the same grain direction throughout all layers. Unlike glulam, LVL is not able to be finished. It must be coated with a finishing product.
The other common engineered wood product is plywood. These members are also manufactured in a range of appearance grades, which can increase the architectural appeal of the structure. These products are designed to be environmentally friendly. Typical lumber construction methods consider the floor and roof loads to be uniformly distributed. This means that a wider beam section is able to meet the fire rating requirement because of the deep charring process.
Glulam beams are often preferred over LVL, especially in structural applications. LVL can be manufactured in standard sizes, but glulams are more durable and prettier. In addition to being stronger, glulam is also more flexible than concrete and is less likely to deform.