Wooden Structures - What is the advantage of Laminated Timber
Laminated timber is a system of joining strips of timber which has been kiln dried and gluing (often with faces reversed) so that drying pressures balance each other out. This has many benefits as it creates stronger wooden structures, it also enables the timber to be engineered at commercially viable sizes and prices and most of all it reduces the risk of splits and shakes that are associated with single piece round posts in wooden structures.
A factor is the risk of splits and shakes is the growth of the timber itself. In the early years there is rapid growth known as ‘juvenile’ wood, this slows down as the tree matures. This juvenile wood exhibits different properties to that of the mature wood one of which is in drying. This can contribute to the splitting or cracking of the timber especially if dried out too quickly.
There are many other factors due to timber being a natural product and each species has its own characteristics and have only touched on a couple of them.
However, the most effective way to reduce the chances of splits in your wooden structure is to use laminated timber whereby strips of wood are kiln dried and glued together so that the drying pressures depending on the direction of the annular rings balance each other out.