Since World War II, this type of wood has been used to make airplane propellers, but it wasn’t used in the building until the 1970s. It is made the same way as plywood from softwood veneer logs or peelers.
The logs are then “unrolled” into sheets 1/16″ to 1/4″ thick by running them through a veneer peeler. The logs are then under pressure for 48 hours with water vapor and chemicals before removing the bark. The veneer sheet is then cut to the right size and dried with hot air before it is used to make laminated veneer lumber (LVL).
After the sheets have been dried and cut, they are flattened and smoothed with a sander or grinder. A thin layer of glue that won’t leak is put on the veneer with a machine. Instead of being stacked horizontally and vertically like plywood, the grain of the glued sheets runs along the length of the stack.
The number of sheets in the stack tells how thick the laminated beam is. After that, the stacks go through a machine that uses high heat and pressure to make a strong bond between the pieces of paper. LVL beam, for example, looks and feels like solid wood but is at least twice as strong. LVL also has more consistent sizes and is less likely to shrink, twist, warp, or bow than regular lumber.
The LVL sheets are sanded smooth so that they can meet the needs of the market or specific needs. Following ASTM D5456 or CSA 086, LVL wood beams have the name of the manufacturer, a brand mark, or a product identification number stamped on them every four feet. Then it is wrapped for shipping both in the United States and abroad. The cost per unit depends on how far it has to be shipped and how big the LVL beam is.
What Are Sizes of LVL Beams Available?
Most LVL beams come in sizes of 1-1/4″, 3-1/2″, 5-1/4″, and 7″. Because the depth of laminated beams ranges from 5 to 24 inches, they can look like 2×6, 2×8, 2×10, or 2×12 boards with a width of 1-3/4 inches. Laminate lumber is usually sold in lengths of 4 feet, starting at 4 feet.
LVL can be made in lengths from 60 feet to 80 feet, but most manufacturers only make it to 60 feet because it’s easier to ship. Home building supply stores sell residential LVL wood beams in lengths of 4′, 8′, 12′, and 16′. Other lengths can often be ordered on a custom basis.
How Are LVL Beams Used?
LVL beams can be used to build floor and ridge beams, joists, headers, lintels, rafters, trusses, rim boards, and scaffold planks. Laminated wood is used to make road signs, ramps, I-joist flange wood, truck bed decking, and skateboards, among many other things. But H3 and other laminated woods that have been treated with chemicals are made to be used outside and can handle a wide range of climates and weather conditions.
How much do LVL beams cost?
Because they are made more expensively, LVL beams are more expensive than regular wood beams. The price of an LVL wood beam isn’t just based on its length and width. It’s also based on its depth and width and its strength ratings for both.
Depending on its width and depth, an LVL beam can cost anywhere from $7 to $40 per linear foot. Even though lower building costs might make up for the higher price, it’s important to remember that.