Great Lakes SPFs Lumber Testing Underway
The laboratory testing of softwood lumber samples collected by NELMA’s Inspection staff in the Great Lakes region began October 3 at the University of Minnesota’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) in Duluth. The testing project is part of a North America-wide program that commenced last year to monitor the currently-published strength values for softwood lumber species and species groupings. The Great Lakes testing program incorporates more than 450 pieces of No.2 grade 2×4 lumber and includes the species of Red Pine, Jack Pine, Eastern Spruce, and Balsam Fir. These species are included within a larger Spruce-Pine-Fir South (SPFs) official grouping that also incorporates Engelmann Spruce, Lodgepole Pine, and Sitka Spruce from the western U.S.
This project at NRRI is being led by Brian Brashaw, Director of their Wood Materials and Manufacturing Program, with anticipated completion of these full-size lumber tests by the end of the year. After review of the raw data, the results will be combined with previously-completed test results from the Northeastern U.S. and from SPFs specie testing to be completed by western U.S. grading agencies. The final analysis will be compared to the published data and reported to the American Lumber Standard Committee’s Board of Review for monitoring purposes.