Novel Advancement in Timber-Plywood-Concrete Composite System: A Development Led by Seoul National University

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

Led by Professor Jung-Kwon OH, researchers from Seoul National University have pioneered an advanced Timber-Plywood-Concrete (TPC) Composite Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) system, deriving inspiration from an NLT project undertaken by Canada Wood Korea in Jinju City in 2021. This emergent TPC NLT system integrate the application of nail-laminated timber (NLT), plywood, and concrete to engineer a composite slab, primarily targeting enhanced flooring applications.

The methodology entailed in this system involves the alternate nail-lamination of lumber and plywood, which is subsequently topped with concrete. Nail-laminated timber has already been recognized as a viable replacement for traditional concrete and CLT slabs and steel decking across a diverse array of building genres including commercial, institutional, and residential structures.

Transitioning beyond the conventional NLT paradigm, the TPC NLT system facilitates extended spans, reduced deflections, augmented vibration performance, and more streamlined structures. This progression is in congruence with the broader objectives of sustainable architecture and cost-efficiency. The versatility of the system is further manifested in the optionality of the concrete slab casting, which can either be executed on-site or precast in a controlled setting, with on-site pours generally being preferred.

Under the aegis of Seoul National University, a key partner of Canada Wood Korea, the forthcoming phase of this research endeavor aims to investigate the horizontal diaphragm performance and the incorporation of sprinkler systems within the cavity of the TPC composite slabs, in addition to verifying its fire resistance capability. The project proposal has been submitted to the Korean Forest Service for evaluation.

This novel system presents the opportunity for the expanded utilization of wood in larger and taller constructions, realms traditionally monopolized by concrete and steel. Further research is required to comprehend the seismic and fire resilience of this system and improve the manufacturing and installation of the system.

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