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Re: Peculiar Plywood Beams

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Gary,

        I believe you have the option of checking this out using your choice of current code or the
applicable code at the time the structure was built.  Older versions of the CSA 086 code (1972, for
one example) and associated handbooks (C.I.T.C. for example) had quite a lot of technical information
regarding structural applications for plywood.  All the applicable working stress formulae for
horizontal shear, rolling shear in the plane of the plies, etc. etc. would apply.

        If you have trouble finding this material let me know and I'll send it privately.  Just don't
count on instant turn around because my office is about to go into disaster mode for most of the rest
of the week due to redoing the flooring in my house.

        Another alternative you might have is to load test some portions of the structure.  I'm not
well versed on the applicable codes for this; whenever I've needed it I've always had a specialist
consultant handle testing.

Regards,

H. Daryl Richardson

Gary Hodgson & Associates wrote:

> I am doing a structural review of an existing fire hall.  These older buildings do not seem to
> have any drawings, as they were often built by volunteer firefighters and the local community
> donating time and materials.
>
> The roof consists of plywood bathtub beams.  The top flange appears to be ±3/4" plywood, the
> bottom flange appears to be 1/2" thick plywood x 6" wide and the slanted sides of the "V" are
> ±1/4" x ±13" deep.  Each trough or beam is spaced at ±16" centres.  I am not sure how to check the
> design of this creature.  Has anyone run across a similar situation?
>
> My dimensions are not very good because the only hole for inspection was near a heater.
>
> Gary Hodgson, P.Eng.
> Niagara Falls, ON
>
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