, Volume 47, Issue 16, pp 6141-6150
Date: 08 May 2012

Moisture-dependent elastic and strength anisotropy of European beech wood in tension

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Abstract

While the general mechanical behaviour of wood is known, its moisture-dependent elastic and strength anisotropy remains little studied. Given the anisotropic and hygroscopic nature of wood, a characterisation of wood mechanical behaviour will require knowledge of its moisture-dependent properties in relation to the three principal axes of anisotropy. The present study examines the influence of the moisture content (MC) on the elastic and strength anisotropy of beech wood (Fagus sylvatica L.). Selected elastic and strength parameters, including the anisotropic Young’s moduli, Poisson’s ratios, yield and ultimate stress values and the fracture toughness in the TR, TL, RT and RL directions, are determined in uniaxial tension and compact tension tests at different moisture conditions. A distinct moisture dependency is shown for the elastic and strength behaviour of beech wood. With the exception of some Poisson’s ratios, all investigated elastic and strength parameters are shown to decrease with increasing MC. The two- and three-dimensional representation of the compliance matrix, and the two-dimensional visualisation of a yield surface, provides a valuable overview on the moisture-dependent elastic and strength anisotropy of beech wood.