Effect of Low Temperatures on the Block Shear Strength of Norway Spruce Glulam Joints

Xiaodong Wang, Jonathan Björnberg, Olle Hagman, Sheikh Ali Ahmed, Hui Wan, Peter Niemz


The block shear strength of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) glulam joints was tested under low temperatures. Glulam samples were glued with the three of the most common outdoor structural adhesives. The cold temperatures tested were 20, −20, −30, −40, −50, and −60 °C. Within the temperature test range, the block shear strength of the glulam joints was resistant to the effect of temperature. As the temperature decreased, the joints’ block shear strength did not show any significant change. In most cases, phenol-resorcinol-formaldehyde (PRF) adhesive yielded the strongest block shear strength, while melamine-formaldehyde (MF) adhesive yielded the weakest block shear strength. Melamine-urea-formaldehyde (MUF) adhesive yielded similar results to those of MF adhesives for all temperatures tested. The block shear strengths of the glulam joints with PRF, MUF, and MF adhesives were not sensitive to temperature change. The results indicated that PRF, MUF, and MF adhesives are stable for outdoor structural engineered wood construction in cold climates. The results also suggest that the SS-EN 14080 (2013) standard for the block shear method may not be the proper standard for testing differences in shear strength at different temperatures. The EN 302-1 (2011) standard could be more suitable for this purpose.


Block shear strength; Norway spruce; Outdoor structural adhesives; Glulam joints

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