The aim of this study was to assess the potential of hardwoods harvested in Croatian forests for the production of glued laminated timber (glulam), mainly of those species for which there is no published performance assessment. Nine sets of glulam beams were produced: three sets using lamellas from European hornbeam, three sets from Turkey oak, and three sets from maple. Each set was characterized by a different hardwood species and surface preparation method. The surface preparation methods included planing, planing followed by sanding with fine grit, and planing followed by sanding with coarse grit. The experimental investigations included shear tests of the glue lines in dry conditions and bending tests of the glulam beams. The shear tests showed satisfactory performance of the glue lines for the Turkey oak and European hornbeam, but not for the maple. The results of the bending tests showed superior bending strength of the European hornbeam compared to the Turkey oak and maple. Planing followed by rough sanding of the lamellas was shown to have a significant influence on the bending strength and stiffness of the glulam from Turkey oak.
Keywords: European hornbeam; Turkey oak; glued laminated timber; hardwoods; maple; surface treatment.