Massive-wood CLT plates to help with mud season

CLT plates can be used to strengthen roadways during mud season. Photo: Ilga Bērzkalna
Metsäbiotalouden tulevaisuuskuvasto / Forest Bioeconomy Future Catalogue

A project led by the Lapland University of Applied Sciences aims to find out whether massive-wood CLT plates can help with timber harvesting on soft ground during the mud season.

The milder winters resulting from the climate change lead to longer and longer mud seasons. This is challenging for timber harvesting, especially on peatlands, but also on other felling sites. New solutions are therefore needed in planning felling sites and harvesting operations, as well as in designing harvesting machinery and for strengthening soil surface.

The project studies the use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) to improve the bearing capacity of roadways when the terrain is soft. The use of CLT plates for temporary bridges is also studied, for crossing small ditches and brooks, according to a press release by the Lapland University of Applied Sciences.

The new methods support year-round timber harvesting, protect the soil surface from damage during harvesting and shorten the transport distances in the forest. All this will also improve the energy efficiency of harvesting.

Some of the CLT plates used in the tests are manufactured from sawmilling sidestreams whose quality is below normal standards. The project aims to determine whether this could improve the efficiency of material use and profitability in CLT manufacturing.

The project is scheduled to run until the end of March 2023.

The Lapland University of Applied Science is in charge of managing the project as the main partner. The other partners are the Finnish Forest Centre, Digipolis and Natural Resources Institute Finland.
The project also involves, either directly or indirectly, CLT manufacturers, forest industry companies, harvesting companies and civil engineering and mining companies.

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