Circular mass timber for construction – 2022

The project aims to unlock the circularity of mass timber by developing an adhesive-free approach to joining. The possibility of Linear Friction Welding (LFW) of recycled timber is being investigated as a potential joining technology.

The Welding Institute Ltd has previously demonstrated that an automated LFW technology is capable of joining hard wood. Joining recycled soft wood for the mass timber industry is a whole new challenge, this project will aim to create joints in these materials. Researchers from University College London will test the welded material and look to provide insight into the joining mechanisms.

The project team has sourced recycled radiata pine and built custom tooling to manufacture long end-to-end joints. LFW trials have produced a number of successful joints using the recycled radiata pine with no additional material. The joints create a total part length of 900mm, these are the longest linear friction welds made in wood anywhere in the world.

PI: Dr Kate Franklin, The Welding Institute

Project Partners: UCL

Length showing an end-to-end LFW joint. Photo Credit: TWI

An Unsupported end-to-end LFW joint. Photo Credit: TWI