What is LVL?

LVL is Laminated Veneer Lumber -  a highly engineered wood product.  LVL is similar to plywood although the grain of adjacent layers of veneer is typically aligned in the same direction. Plywood has alternate layers aligned at right angles

What kind of wood does Wesbeam use to make LVL?

Wesbeam uses wood from around plantations found in Perth in Western Australia.

How is LVL made?

Wesbeam manufactures its LVL products at a purpose built, world-class facility in Neerabup, north of Perth.

The manufacturing process involves laminating a series of plantation timbers with phenolic adhesives in a continuous assembly. Veneer grain directions all run longitudinally. The product is then pressed as a 1200mm nominal width continuous billet in various standard thicknesses.

What are the key features of Wesbeam's LVL products?

Wesbeam LVL products have a number of key features.

  • Strength: Wesbeam LVL has a high strength-to-weight ratio, thanks to the combination of the natural characteristics of plantation timbers and Wesbeam's leading-edge engineering and manufacturing processes. The high strength-to-weight ratio of Wesbeam e-beam LVL enables the product to be used a substitute for steel in many situations. It also reduces the overall amount of material needed in construction, resulting in cost savings.
  • Consistency: Because Wesbeam's LVL is an engineered product, it has a low Coefficient Of Variation (COV) that, at 9%, puts in on a par with steel (7% COV) whilst outperforming timber (38% COV).As a result, it is easier to predict the way the material will behave, giving greater control over issues such as maintenance costs.
  • Light weight: A piece of Wesbeam LVL weighs up to half the equivalent piece of hardwood, making it easier and safer to work with and reducing the need for mechanical lifting. This also speeds up the construction process, as well as giving a project lighter foundation requirements.
  • Fixed cost: Unlike steel where costs are increasing all the time, the price of Wesbeam's LVL does not fluctuate with world commodity prices. This gives builders greater control of building costs.
  • Smooth edges: Framing carpenters appreciate the fact that Wesbeam LVL is smooth, splinter-free, chamfered products which handle well.
  • Longer lengths: Wesbeam's LVL products are available in lengths up to 12.6 metres

What are the applications of LVL?

LVL is in a wide variety of applications including, floor bearers and joists, large section beams, roof construction, bottom chords in girder trusses and support beams in concrete formwork to name but a few.

Is Wesbeam LVL a more environmentally-friendly product for use in construction?

  • A sustainable resource: Wesbeam's LVL is produced from plantation timbers sourced from around Perth under a 25 year State Agreement with the Western Australian State Government.  The rate of planting exceeds the rate of harvest thus ensuring a ready supply of wood fibre well into the future.
  • A replacement for hardwood from old growth forests: Wesbeam's LVL products provide the building industry with a replacement for the hardwood timbers that are now becoming unavailable for such applications.
  • Waterwise: Wesbeam's harvesting of the Gnangara Pine Plantation, one of the plantations Wesbeam sources its timber from will reduce pressure on the Gnangara aquifer thereby helping to conserve Western Australia's water resources.
  • Reducing salination: By 2009, Wesbeam will be investing $1 million per year in the planting of maritime pine east and north east of Perth. These plantings will assist in the Government's program of reducing the salination of Western Australian farmlands.
  • Reducing waste: Wesbeam recovers around 55 to 60% of material from each log that comes into the manufacturing plant. .  This compares favourably to hardwood at 35% and pine timber at 45 t0 50%

Does working with LVL involve learning new skills?

LVL cuts, nails and screws much the same as timber. However, nails should not be driven parallel to the direction of the LVL veneers.

What kind of technical support can I expect from Wesbeam?

Wesbeam supports its products with locally based representatives backed up by engineering support from our head office at Neerabup in Western Australia.

Where can I buy Wesbeam LVL?

Wesbeam structural products can be bought from a number of national distributors. For your local distributor please contact (08) 9306 0400.

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