Materials and Structures

, 50:248 | Cite as

Estimating shear properties of walnut wood: a combined experimental and theoretical approach

  • Erik Valentine Bachtiar
  • Markus Rüggeberg
  • Stefan Hering
  • Michael Kaliske
  • Peter Niemz
Original Article


In this study, several theoretical models to numerically estimate shear properties of orthotropic materials are introduced. These approaches are based on the combination of Hankinson’s empirically derived formula with other empirical and analytical calculations. Next to shear moduli, which are estimated from the elastic moduli and Poisson’s ratios, shear strengths are also estimated from the in-axis strengths. The models are validated by mechanical tests on walnut wood (Juglans regia L.), for which a sufficient data set can be found in literature. The Arcan test is used to estimate the shear moduli, while the shear block test is used to estimate the shear strengths. The results show that the model, which is based on a combined use of Hankinson’s formula and tensor rotation, gives the best estimation of shear moduli as evaluated by the minimum differences to the experimentally obtained results. For the shear strengths, a combination of Hankinson’s formula and Norris’ failure criterion shows the best agreement in comparison to the experimental data. The theoretical calculations may be used for a time efficient estimation of shear modulus and strength in comparison to the very time-consuming experimental estimation.


Approximation methods for orthotropic shear property Hankinson’s formula Shear moduli Shear strengths Walnut wood (Juglans regia L.) 



Special acknowledgement is attributed to Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, Project No. KA 1163/25) and Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF, Project No. 14762) for the funding of this study. Additionally, we want to thank Thomas Schnider who helped during the specimens preparation.


This work is a part of combined project between TU Dresden, Germany funded by (DFG, Project No. KA 1163/25) and ETH Zurich, Switzerland funded by Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF, Project No. 14762).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We declare that there is no conflict of interest in this work.

Supplementary material

11527_2017_1119_MOESM1_ESM.docx (59 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 59 kb)


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Building MaterialsETH ZürichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Laboratory of Applied Wood MaterialsEmpaDübendorfSwitzerland
  3. 3.Former Institute for Building MaterialsETH ZürichZurichSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute for Structural AnalysisTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany
  5. 5.Institute for Material and Wood TechnologyBern University of Applied SciencesBielSwitzerland
  6. 6.Kernkraftwerk Leibstadt AGLeibstadtSwitzerland

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