Product Spotlight : TimberStrand® LSL – What Can It Do For You

TimberStrand® LSL, one of our Trus Joist engineered wood product offerings, is manufactured in Kenora, Ontario.  It is made primarily from the underutilized and self regenerating aspen tree.   Once harvested, the logs are debarked and cut into strands to a specific width, length and thickness that is unique to this technology.  The strands are then dried and adhesive is applied prior to stacking them into a large mat.  The orientation that the strands are placed into the mat is a large driver of the final design properties the product will obtain.   The mat is then pressed in a steam injection process to make a large billet that is then cooled before being cut and sanded into the final product dimensions.  The ability to change the design properties based on strand orientation makes this the most versatile product we manufacture.

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Beams and Headers:  TimberStrand® LSL is available as a beam/header material in 2 grades, 1.3E and 1.55E.   The 1.3E grade is available in 3.5” widths, while the 1.55E grade is available in both 1.75” and 3.5” widths.   The 3.5” width is an excellent choice to reduce labor time and costs (no need to nail or bolt plies together) as well as being more structurally stable due to the solid section.   The 1.55E grade beams/headers also has an allowable hole zone that is more flexible than any other engineered wood product.  This means larger holes located just about anywhere along the beam, even for beams supporting large point loads.   Our beam products specifier guide, TJ-9000, is a great resource for available sizes, grades, design properties and span charts.

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Wall Framing:  Whether you are looking for a perfectly straight wall to hang your kitchen cabinets on or needing long length material that is strong and straight to support windows in a 2 story great room, TimberStrand® LSL wall framing is the right choice.   Available in 2×4, 2×6 & 2×8 stud sizes, and in lengths up to 48’, it can cover most any application.   Furthermore, the product can be sized using our single member sizing software, Forte®, for both vertical and lateral (wind load) situations.

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In addition to studs and columns, TimberStrand® LSL is an excellent choice for wall plate material.  It can handle much higher loads than dimension lumber without crushing (due to a higher compression perpendicular to grain value).  And unlike dimension lumber, the concerns of plate shrinkage are nearly nonexistent.   Sill plate material is also available as our Strandguard® product, which is treated during the manufacturing process with zinc borate.  Strandguard® can be used in direct contact with concrete foundation walls and does not require special fastener protection that traditional pressure treated lumber sill plates require.

Roof Framing :   The same material used for beams, headers and wall framing can solve some of your most complex roof design problems.  Since it is manufactured straight and in very long lengths, it is ideal to use as roof rafters in steep slope cathedral ceilings as well as conventional roof framing.

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Stair Stringers:  1-1/4” 1.3E TimberStrand® LSL which is typically used as rim board is also an ideal product for your stair stringer material.  It spans further and comes in longer lengths than traditional stringer material.  And due to its unique strand alignment, it resists bowing, shrinking and splitting that plagues traditional lumber stringers.   We also have tables for and 1-3/4” 1.55E TimberStrand® LSL stringers for longer span and higher load applications.

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Industrial Components:   In addition to structural uses in residential and light commercial construction, you would be amazed what is made from TimberStrand® LSL components.  Its unique composition, high strength and screw holding capabilities makes it an ideal component for everything from window and door components, to furniture and crating material, to concrete form board and is even used as the substrate on bowling alley lanes.

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It is pretty easy to see why this is the most versatile engineered wood product on the market and how it can solve many of your design and construction issues.  Feel free to contact our technical support staff at 1-888-453-8358 or emailus for more information on TimberStrand® LSL or any of our Trus Joist products.

Jerad Bankston, P.E.
Jerad Bankston, P.E.
Jerad Bankston, P.E. is a Weyerhaeuser engineer supporting Trus Joist Engineered Wood Products who is based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. During his 14+ years with Weyerhaeuser, Jerad has provided technical support and training for residential, multifamily and industrial applications.