Timber is a sustainable resource, environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing. Using locally grown timber as building material leads to economic, social and environmental benefits. Being an organic material, timber is not homogeneous; hence, it is crucial to predict the base material quality. International codes require the use of wood previously graded according to the current regulations in order to verify its reliability when used as structural material. An exhaustive analysis of the state of art of different methodologies and code requirements for structural timber grading is presented herein. Structural timber grading methods and their applicability to low-strength timber is analysed and discussed with reference to Maritime Pine locally grown in Sardinia (Italy). Several physical and morphological parameters such as density, the presence of knots, clusters of knots, grain deviation, warping, annual ring width and moisture content had to be measured. Moreover, mechanical parameters (tensile strength and modulus of elasticity in tension) were measured and analysed in order to identify the strength class of Sardinian Maritime Pine. The operational issues related to the application of the different methodologies and code requirements for structural grading of low-quality wood are also discussed and analysed.
Part of the book: Wood in Civil Engineering