Department of Civil Engineering, Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Salvaged timber elements often have length limitations, and therefore, their reuse in structural products normally would require additional processing and end-to-end joining. This increases the costs of reusing such materials, which makes them even less attractive to the timber sector. In the presented research, a new approach is proposed for reusing short, salvaged timber elements combined with new (full-scale) timber boards to fabricate dowel-laminated timber (DLT) panels without significant processing or end-to-end joining or gluing. In this approach, salvaged timber elements are pressed in the system in such a way that they can contribute to the bending performance of the DLT panels by resisting compression stress. In order to evaluate the effectiveness, several small-scale and large-scale DLT panels were fabricated. Salvaged plywood tenons were used as connectors. The bending stiffness of the small-scale DLT panels and the first eigenfrequency, damping ratio, bending properties, and failure modes of the large-scale DLT panels were evaluated. The results exhibited that by using the proposed approach, the short, salvaged timber elements can contribute substantially to the bending stiffness of the DLT panels without requiring end-to-end joining or gluing. On average, about a 40% increase in the bending stiffness could be achieved by pressing in the salvaged timber elements, which results in relatively similar stiffness properties compared to conventional DLT panels. One further characteristic is that the failure of the panels, and therefore the panel’s strength, is mainly governed by the quality of the full-scale timber boards instead of the salvaged ones. This can be beneficial for practical use as the qualitative assessment of the strength properties of salvaged timber becomes less critical.