InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Hardwood Structural Lumber from Log Heart Cants

Expected cost advantages of using hardwood for bridge superstructures rather than steel and concrete have not been evident. Some reasons given include the use of red oak,
which is in high demand for other uses, and the fact that the hardwood dimension lumber market is not established. Another reason is that the lumber supply is coming from the high-grade outer portion of oak logs. In this study, we explored the potential for producing hardwood bridge products from log heart cants, including railroad ties and pallet cants. The report evaluates the availability of cant material from West Virginia mills and structural-grade dimension lumber from ties and cants for several species: red oak, hickory, red maple, yellow-poplar, beech, and white oak.