Timber & Wood Products
In days gone by, timber and wood products were really only used in a few basic forms. These included round timber, sawn timber and split timber. Any prediction of strength and performance was based on experience and a fair bit of guesswork. Since then we have progressively increased our knowledge of the different timber species through research and testing.

Nowadays, we have many more options in regard to the form of timber and wood products that we can use. Most of these options come with a much more reliable prediction of strength and performance. Some of the options are:

Round Timber

Uses of round timber include poles, piles, girders and posts. Predictions of strength and performance are usually based on visual grading (which relies in part on the strength group of the species) and the durability rating of the species. More...

Sawn Timber

Domestic Construction includes all the sizes used in construction other than heavy engineering applications. Predictions of strength and performance are based on one or more grading methods including visual grading (which relies in part on the strength group of the species), mechanical grading and proof grading. Where timber is to be exposed to the elements (periodically or continuously), the durability rating of the species is an important predictor. Timber for domestic construction can have a sawn or dressed surface.

Heavy Engineering Construction includes the large sizes used in structures such as bridges, wharves, warehouses, factories and railway lines. Predictions of strength and performance are usually based on visual grading (which relies in part on the strength group of the species) and the durability rating of the species. More...

Milled Products

Specialty timber products (sometimes referred to as milled products) include products that may have either a sawn or dressed surface and are graded primarily for appearance although some do have a strength requirement. They include flooring, cladding, lining boards, joinery products and domestic decking. Both the grading rules for softwood and the grading rules for hardwood specialty timber products are based on the premise that each of the grades described meets the minimum strength and serviceability requirement of the product being graded. The grades differ from each other in the amount or size of feature permitted. More...

Glued Laminated Timber

Glued Laminated Timber, often referred to as Glulam, is a structural wood product formed by bonding together timber laminations with the grain running essentially parallel. Because the product is made up of many laminates, any strength reducing characteristics (that might affect a piece of solid timber of the same cross section) are not present in a glued laminated product. If a strength reducing characteristic is present, it is confined to just one laminate. Predictions of strength and performance are very reliable. More...

LVL and LSL

Laminated Veneer Lumber--LVL and Laminated Strand Lumber--LSL are engineered structural products. They are produced by assembling wood veneers (thin sheets of wood of uniform thickness) or strands and bonding them together with a structural adhesive to form a solid product. The grain direction of each veneer or strand is usually oriented to be parallel with the length of the piece but may be cross-banded for specialty applications. The laminated structure disperses strength - reducing characteristics more evenly giving LVL and LSL a higher bending strength and stiffness than the equivalent solid timber section of the same species. More...

Plywood

Plywood is produced by assembling veneers (thin sheets of wood of uniform thickness) and bonding them together to form a panel. The veneers are usually assembled with the grain direction in one veneer being at right angles to that in the adjacent veneer. To insure a stable balance construction free of warping tendencies, an odd number of veneers is used (e.g. 3-ply, 5-ply, 7-ply). The grain on the face and back veneer is parallel. The crossing of the grain at right angles tends to equalize the strength in all directions and the uniformity increases with the number of plies used. More...

I-Beams

I-beams are 'I'-shaped engineered wood based structural members. They are made up of a top and bottom flange which can be graded solid timber or LVL or LSL separated by a vertical web of structural plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) or hardboard. The flanges resist bending, tension and compressive stresses. The web provides the necessary shear performance. I-beams are relatively light in weight and offer strength, versatility and economy for use in residential and light commercial applications, such as floor joists, raters and purlins. They are ideal for long spans and are readily available. Their strength to weight ratio makes them ideal for long spans and provides economical solutions for floor and roof structures. The design of the product enables larger holes to be made in the web to accommodate building services (e.g. waste pipes) than can be made in a solid sawn timber beam. More...

Australian Wood Panels Association
AWPA is an organisation formed to promote the use of reconstituted wood products such as MDF and Particleboard and further research and development to conserve the agricultural and forestry resources of Australia.