Technical Aspects

Timber Performance


TTF members have a diverse and comprehensive knowledge base to solve any timber-related problems you have. Timber is a versatile material with predicable characteristics and attributes that perform well in a wide variety of end-uses. So whether it’s a question about solid timber, SIPs or how to source durable doors and windows, our members can help you with thecorrect design parameters and the appropriate specification to achieve the best results.


You can find out more about timber’s technical aspects below.


For any timber product it is important to distinguish what you want the end-use to be.  Strength, performance or appearance will be the critical factors to consider. For each timber product there will be a set of manufacturing parameters determining its suitability for particular end-uses. The quality of manufacturing will always be important and it is vital to determine the level of assurance necessary. For some uses this may be simply buying a known grade from a trusted supplier or through specifying the use of national and international standards.


There are various misconceptions about the ability of timber to perform under harsh conditions, including fire. The correct choice of product, good design and the help of technology mean that almost any end-use can benefit from a wood-based solution.


Remember, completed timber frame buildings that meet all current UK building regulations and standards are entirely safe from fire. All sites under construction, whichever method of construction is used, are potentially vulnerable to fire due to criminal incidents or accidents. Products, such as timber fire doors, can contain fire and give occupants the opportunity to escape. Other timber elements, such as beams or joists, will perform in a predicable way during a fire, which means the integrity of a building can be maintained for a known period of time, preventing the loss of life and minimising further damage.


TTF Members can explain clearly how timber’s superb natural properties can deliver high performance and life-expectancy levels. This is improved even further through the use of modern preservatives that, when applied correctly, enhance timber’s natural durability even further. There are many types of products and many methods of application so it is important when specifying preservatives and finishes to be clear about where the timber product is to be used, how long it is expected to last and how often it will need to be maintained.


Additional information for TTF Members is available  here.


For further information on preservatives and finishes visit the Wood Protection Association here.


For a guide to Fire Safety on Timber Frame Construction Sites please click here.


For more information on timber and fire visit the Chiltern Fire here


There is an intrinsic relationship between moisture content and the performance of timber. As wood is a naturally hydroscopic material it will gain or lose moisture in sympathy with its surroundings. If dried to a moisture content close to that which it will reach in service it will not swell or shrink significantly. Strength increases as timber dries and dry wood is not susceptible to any form of fungi attack.  Kiln drying allows faster drying under controlled conditions to minimise potential degrade of the timber.


For more information on moisture and kiln drying please click  here.


Timber is such a versatile material it can be processed or engineered to exactly the right dimensions for any project. This may be achieved by processing onsite or by choosing from the wide range of stock sizes available from your timber supplier. To suit larger dimensions wood can be laminated or engineered into a range of products, such as CLT, glulam, I-beams, and many other structurally strong and thermally efficient materials.


As timber is internationally traded it may be produced to metric or imperial standards. For instance, panel products from North America and the Far East are normally produced to an imperial size of 8′ x 4′ and sold on the UK market as 2440mm x 1220mm.


For information about sizes and specifications of such products use our Find a Product facility to locate a supplier in your area here.