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Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592
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Traditional Grading System Updated for Structural Lumber

Forest Service researcher conducts an in-grade bending test on Southern pine. David Kretschmann, USDA Forest Service
Forest Service researcher conducts an in-grade bending test on Southern pine. David Kretschmann, USDA Forest Service
Snapshot: The Forest Products Laboratory has traditionally provided unbiased information on the properties, characteristics, design, and use of structural wood products to groups and agencies that develop or control standards for ensuring public safety and health. Because of its reputation, the laboratory was called upon by the American Lumber Standard Committee Board of Review to assist in the review of proposed revisions to the Southern Pine Dimension Lumber Design Values.
Summary:

In 2010, advances in structural design methods, combined with industry concern over product liability, brought both industry and research focus on the performance of traditional visual grading system for lumber over time. Forest Service researchers at the Forest Products Laboratory worked with the American Lumber Standard Committee Board of Review to assess the appropriateness of assigned design values for Southern Pine wood products. The board approves grading rules and engineering property design values for all structural lumber, foreign and domestic, sold in the United States. Architects, engineers, home builders, and building code officers all rely on these design values. The researchers provided the board with advice and counsel on the technical appropriateness of grade rule and allowable property changes for use in the United States. A series of tests on Southern Pine structural lumber completed in the fall of 2012 assessed the appropriateness of the assigned design values. The researchers reviewed the test results, and based on this review, the board modified the Southern Pine design values and adopted monitoring programs to determine the accuracy of design values of remaining structural lumber by all rule-writing agencies in North America.
Princpal Investigator(s):
 Kretschmann, David E.
 Evans, James W.
 Verrill, Steve P.


External Partners:
  • American Lumber Standard Committee Board of Review

Fiscal Year: 2013
Highlight ID: 440
 
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