Wood density estimation using the sclerometric method


The density of wood is an important property that is required when developing timber designs. Wood density is conventionally determined in laboratory using the relationship between the mass and volume of standard specimens. Techniques that produce small perforations in the tested samples have been developed to determine this physical property. In the field of non-destructive testing using the ultrasonic techniques, the density is also required to generate the stiffness matrix, in addition to wave propagation velocity. This study proposes using the non-destructive sclerometric method to estimate the density of wood. Three tropical wood species with different densities were selected to establish constitutive relationships between density and the sclerometric indexes: cedar (Cedrela spp), garapa (Apuleia leiocarpa) and cumaru (Dipteryx odorata). For the sclerometric analysis, 0.08 m × 0.20 m × 0.30 m prismatic specimens were used. Using statistical analysis, the sclerometric indexes for all three anatomical directions of the wood were determined. The correlations indicate that sclerometry has great potential as a non-destructive method to estimate wood density.

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The authors acknowledge support from the Brazilian Federal Agencies through scholarship grants for masters and undergraduate research (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq); the Non-Destructive Test Laboratory (Laboratório de Ensaios Não Destrutivos, LABEND) of the College of Agricultural Engineering of the University of Campinas (FEAGRI/UNICAMP) for their support in performing the experiments and the Fund for the Support of Education, Research and Extension of the University of Campinas (Fundo de Apoio ao Ensino, à Pesquisa e Extensão, FAEPEX) for the financial support to buy the sclerometer.

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Correspondence to Julio Soriano.

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Soriano, J., da Veiga, N.S. & Martins, I.Z. Wood density estimation using the sclerometric method. Eur. J. Wood Prod. 73, 753–758 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00107-015-0948-3

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  • Wood Density
  • Brinell Hardness
  • Wave Propagation Velocity
  • Prismatic Specimen
  • Forest Product Laboratory