Wood is being used in all kinds of innovative new ways these days as architects turn to help reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. Cross-Laminated Timber, or CLT, is a relatively new technology, so it is being subjected to all kinds of tests. The American Department of Defense wanted to know how it holds up under blast testing, so the US Forest Service, the Softwood Lumber Board and Woodworks built two-story structures of different grades of CLT and then went to work, setting off explosions of TNT that are quite dramatic.
Three shots were performed to demonstrate the effectiveness of CLT over a spectrum of blast loads. The first two shots were designed to stress the CLT structures to within their respective elastic limits. The third shot was designed to push the structures beyond their elastic limits such that post-peak response could be observed.
The wood did good:
Initial observations deriving from these tests are positive. For the first two tests, peak recorded deflections were consistent with pre-test predictions, indicating the efficacy of the design assumptions and supporting design methodologies. Results from the third test indicated a controlled response in which localized panel rupture was observed but connection integrity and load carrying ability were not compromised for any of the three structures.
So now we can add to the list of the benefits of CLT construction: it is bomb-proof. Nice to know. More from WoodWorks