Glued laminated timber, or glulam, is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry due to its strength, durability, and sustainability. It is a type of engineered wood product that is composed of layers of timber that are bonded together with adhesives. One of the common uses of glulam is in building structures such as beams and columns. In this article, we will delve into the world of glulam and specifically focus on the sizing considerations for a 20-foot span. We will discuss the benefits, applications, and design considerations for using glulam in this span length. So, if you are curious about utilizing glulam in your construction project, read on to learn all about 20-foot span glul
What size Glulam for 20 foot span
Glulam, short for glued laminated timber, is a structural engineered wood product commonly used in construction for its strength, durability, and aesthetic appeal. It is made by gluing together multiple layers of thin lumber called laminates, with the grain of each layer oriented in the same direction. This results in a product that is stronger and more stable than traditional solid wood.
One common application for glulam is in beams for supporting large spans in buildings, such as in roofs, floors, and bridges. When designing a glulam beam for a specific span, several factors need to be considered, including the size and type of the load (dead load and live load) and the species and grade of the lumber used in the laminates. For a 20 foot span, the following are some general guidelines for the size of glulam beam that may be suitable.
1. Single glulam beam: A single glulam beam may be suitable for a 20 foot span, depending on the load requirements. For light loads such as in residential or light commercial buildings, a 5-1/8” x 15” or 6-3/4” x 9-1/4” glulam beam may be used. For heavier loads, a 6-3/4” x 15” or 8-3/4” x 11-1/4” glulam beam may be required.
2. Multiple glulam beams: If a single glulam beam cannot support the required load, multiple beams may be used. The number of beams needed will depend on the load requirements and the spacing between the beams. For a 20 foot span, three glulam beams may be used, each with a size of 5-1/8” x 11-1/4” or larger.
3. Curved glulam beams: In some cases, a curved glulam beam may be more suitable for a 20 foot span. The curves can help distribute the load more evenly along the length of the beam, making it stronger and more efficient. The size of a curved glulam beam will depend on its shape, radius, and the load requirements.
Keep in mind that the above sizes are general guidelines and may vary depending on the specific project requirements. Additionally, local building codes and regulations must also be followed in the design and construction of glulam beams.
In summary, the size of a glulam beam for a 20 foot span will depend on various factors such as the load requirements, number of beams used, and the type of glulam (straight or curved) chosen. As a civil engineer, it is important to carefully analyze all the necessary factors to determine the most appropriate size of glulam beam for a specific project.
In conclusion, Glulam is a versatile and efficient building material that is an excellent option for a 20 foot span. Its high strength-to-weight ratio, dimensional stability, and wide range of customization options make it a popular choice for various projects, from residential to commercial construction. With proper design and installation, Glulam can provide long-lasting and reliable support for structures of different sizes and shapes. Its sustainability and eco-friendly characteristics only add to its appeal as a building material. Overall, Glulam offers both practical and aesthetic benefits, making it a preferred choice for any project requiring a 20 foot span.