November 29, 2017

SLB Supports Additional Blast-Resistant Testing to Open New Market for Mass Timber

Wood products have historically been underrepresented in the U.S. Department of Defense construction market because of misconceptions regarding wood’s performance in blast conditions. Working with USDA Forest Products Laboratory, the Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is tackling these misperceptions head-on to prove wood’s performance and open up a new market for wood products worth upwards of 148 million board feet of production annually.

WoodWorks, with support from the SLB and the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Lab, conducted a second series of blast tests on three existing two-story, single-bay cross-laminated timber (CLT) structures at Tyndall Air Force Base—the same structures involved in a series of initial blast tests performed in 2016. While a full analysis will be published early next year, on-site observations are decidedly positive. All structures remained intact under significant explosive loading well beyond their design capacity.

Over the next couple months, WoodWorks will be working with Karagozian & Case, Inc., the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to analyze the results of these tests and develop design methods for use by blast engineers across the country.