About Glulam Beams
What is Glulam?
Glulam consists of a number of timber laminations that are glued together. Glulam can be used for many different types of structures, such as beams, portal frames, bridges, poles, etc.
Glulam is a beautiful and flexible material, which can be used in almost all types of buildings.
Today glulam is used in many varied types of construction. The majority sold is used in new buildings, especially leisure buildings, schools etc. More recently glulam has become a well embraced material and is used in churches, play grounds, bridge building, multi-storey car parks, electricity masts and many other projects.
Wood has well known qualities which are also characteristic of glulam. Glulam is just as inviting, warm and real at the wood it is made from. Wood, together with other natural materials has regained its popularity and is being used considerably more within the building industry.
In construction glulam is used for its strength and character building versatility. It can be produced in individual shapes – straight or curved – large or small.
The colour of the material gives the building a light and gentle touch. In interaction with other natural materials glulam creates visual appeal within the building producing a good living and working environment.
Modern glulam technique combined with the durability of wood makes glulam a highly versatile construction material with unique qualities:
Glulam is workable
Since glulam is glued together using thin flexible lamellas it can easily be manufactured in curved shapes, which is normally expensive in other types of structural materials. This ability gives huge potential for the manufacture of arches and portal frames.
Glulam is adjustable
Glulam beams can be manufactured to the exact dimensions required. Normally, however, it is an advantage to choose the cross section of the glulam beam, so that it can be formed using standard thickness lamellas.
Glulam is strong
Since glulam is fabricated from many graded lamellas, growth defects in the wood will be minimal in comparison to the finished section. Because of this, glulam has strength, which is proven by many years of experience.
Compared to the standard specifications of wood glulam has strength properties that are more than twice as high as those which apply to the base timber quality normally used.
Glulam is lightweight
In combination with other wood materials lightweight structures can be made out of glulam, which is well suited for large clear spans. Large column-free areas gives industrial buildings and warehouses flexibility and a high utility usage.
Due to the superior strength to weight ratio of glulam in comparison to structural steel, savings can also be made on the size of crane required for erection.
Glulam is resistant
Glulam is naturally resilient to an aggressive chemical environment. This is a substantial reason why swimming baths and warehouses for salt and fertiliser are often made of glulam and assembled with corrosion lasting metalwork and fixings. Galvanized steel is frequently used and stainless steel, when required.
All glulam is bonded with waterproof and weather-resistant glue unless anything else is specified. If the glulam is protected with a wood preservative combined with a good water-repellent surface treatment, it can be used for outdoor constructions.
Glulam is fire resistant
Glulam does not burn very well. Fire in a glulam beam goes out by itself unless the beam is directly exposed to flames. The carbonized layer protects the beam against further destruction from fire.
Glulam constructions can therefore be made extremely fire safe and easily fulfil the standards concerning BD-constructions (fire resistant) set by the authorities. The carbonised layer gives protection to the core resulting in stability and predictability during a fire.
The glulam construction can therefore be made very fire resistant fulfilling the authority’s demands to fire rated constructions.
Glulam is insulating
The ability of glulam to conduct heat is very small. This makes the material comfortable in both hot and cold conditions, which gives the opportunity for simple construction solutions.
A glulam beam can for instance be brought through the external wall without it causing cold bridging problems, dark colouring of the surface or unwanted thermal loss.
Glulam is machinable
Glulam can be machined on site with ordinary hand tools allowing for any adjustments to be done quickly.
Glulam constructions can be easily designed into any building with their accurate detailing, large degree of factory machining and with this a quick installation.
Our Glulam only uses glue that ensures a cured glue joint just as resistant as the wood against weather, moisture, dry rot and fire. The cured glue does not emit any harmful substances, even when burned.
Our Glulam uses WBP melamine glue
The melamine glue provides a light glue joint that darkens slightly in the course of time.
As standard glulam from us is produced to strength class GL 28. Glulam in strength class GL 28 is certified is accordance with BS/EN 386. A good proportion of our stock sizes are GL 32.
See stock list for more details
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