The Big Bang! Strength Testing of Prefabricated Composite Beams

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

Three types of Prefabricated Composite Beams have been tested at the Korea National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS) in May with the objective of developing a prototype prefab floor and wall system suitable for Korea’s detached housing market. The research program is jointly funded by Canada Wood Korea and Green Cube, a Korean prefab wood housing company.

Lightweight and cost-effective, wood composite beams are becoming more prevalent in structural system design. The tested beams are made of 2×10 and 2×4 dimensional lumber and OSB from Canada.

In line with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) procedures, testing of forty specimens were carried out under the virtual supervision of Dr. Chui from the University of Alberta and Mr. David Joo from Haustec.

•  Roof type A and B composite beams (5m long x 16 specimen)

•  Floor type A and B composite beams (5m long x 16 specimen)

•  Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) floor panel (1.2m long x 8 specimen)

Currently, prefab wood housing is estimated to account for 10-15% of wood construction in Korea. Cost and transportation restrictions are critical hurdles influencing the development of the prefab wood construction sector versus conventional construction alternatives.  Our research is directed at more cost-effective and versatile configurations for easy transportation and installation.

Results will form the basis for engineering values for each roof and floor element and should influence building code requirements for the use of such systems in Korea.