Using Modeling to Understand the Hygromechanical and Hysteretic Behavior of the S2 Cell Wall Layer of Wood

  • Dominique DeromeEmail author
  • Karol Kulasinski
  • Chi Zhang
  • Mingyang Chen
  • Jan Carmeliet


To understand moisture sorption and swelling of wood requires revealing the behavior at the S2 cell wall layer, one of the layers of the secondary cell wall, at the atomistic scale. Difficulties in experimentally determining the organization and properties of S2 layer at such a small scale are a stumbling block for understanding of swelling and sorption in their full complexity. Recent works using atomistic modeling (Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Grand Canonical Monte Carlo) provide complementary insights. The linear dependence between moisture content, swelling, and porosity change is found to be correlated with the number and location of water–polymer hydrogen bonds within the system. Such information is upscaled for general use within a poromechanical framework. This chapter summarizes recent new physical insights in the sorption and swelling behavior of the S2 cell wall layer, stemming from validated MD work. The presented methodology is also used to unravel other moisture-related mechanisms of wood, such as hysteretic behavior.


S2 layer composite material Cellulose (crystalline and paracrystalline) Hemicelluloses Lignins Hygromechanical behavior Hysteresis Experimental data Molecular dynamics (atomistic modeling) Sorption and swelling of wood 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominique Derome
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karol Kulasinski
    • 2
  • Chi Zhang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mingyang Chen
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jan Carmeliet
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Multiscale Studies of Building Physics, EmpaDübendorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Geochemistry, Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryBerkeleyUSA
  3. 3.Chair of Building Physics, Department of Mechanical and Process EngineeringETH ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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