The deformation and failure of the secondary cell wall of Spruce wood was studied by in-situ SEM compression of micropillars machined by the focused ion beam technique. The cell wall exhibited yield strength values of approximately 160 MPa and large scale plasticity. High resolution SEM imaging post compression revealed bulging of the pillars followed by shear failure. With additional aid of cross-sectional analysis of the micropillars post compression, a model for deformation and failure mechanism of the cell wall has been proposed. The cell wall consists of oriented cellulose microfibrils with high aspect ratio embedded in a hemicellulose-lignin matrix. The deformation of the secondary wall occurs by asymmetric out of plane bulging because of buckling of the microfibrils. Failure of the cell wall following the deformation occurs by the formation of a shear or kink band.
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Adusumalli, RB., Raghavan, R., Ghisleni, R. et al. Deformation and failure mechanism of secondary cell wall in Spruce late wood. Appl. Phys. A 100, 447–452 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00339-010-5847-1