The structural use of timber coming from fast growing and low-grade species such as poplar is one of the current challenges in the wood value chains, through the development of engineering products. In this work, a qualitative comparison of the behavior of mixed glued laminated timber made of pine in their outer layers and of poplar in their inner layers is shown and discussed. Single-species poplar and pine laminated timber have been used as control layouts. The investigation includes destructive four-point bending tests and three non-destructive methodologies: finite elements numerical model; semi-analytical model based on the Parallel Axes theorem and acoustic resonance testing. An excellent agreement between experimental and numerical results is obtained. Although few number of samples have been tested, the results indicate that the use of poplar as a low-grade species in the inner layers of the laminated timber can be a promising technology to decrease the weight of the timber maintaining the good mechanical properties of pine. Likewise, the need for the use of the shear modulus in both experimental measurements and numerical analysis is suggested, as well as the need to reformulate the vibration methodology for non-destructive grading in the case of mixed timber.
Keywords: bending; glulam; non-destructive testing; numerical modelling; pine; poplar; timber.