Wood Science and Technology

, Volume 42, Issue 8, pp 633–647 | Cite as

Three-dimensional elastic behaviour of common yew and Norway spruce



In view of its high density, yew wood has a remarkably low longitudinal Young’s modulus, which makes it unique among coniferous woods. However, the elastic response of yew related to other load directions is largely unknown. Therefore, our goal was to comprehensively characterise the three-dimensional elastic behaviour of yew wood. To achieve this, we performed tensile tests on dog-bone-shaped yew specimens and determined the three Young’s moduli and six Poisson’s ratios using a universal testing machine and a digital image correlation technique. All tests were also applied to spruce as reference species. After including the shear moduli determined in a prior study by our group, all elastic engineering parameters of yew and spruce were ascertained. Based on these values, the three-dimensional elastic behaviour was describable with deformation bodies and polar diagrams. Evaluating these illustrations revealed that yew had a lower stiffness only in the longitudinal direction. In all other three-dimensional directions, spruce was clearly more compliant than yew. Particularly, in the radial–tangential plane, both species varied largely in their degree of anisotropic elasticity. All mentioned differences between yew and spruce originate at the microstructural level.



This work was supported by the European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research (COST, Action E35).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Building Materials (Wood Physics Group)ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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