Molecular and Cell Wall Structure of Wood

  • Richard E. Mark
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 3)


To the materials scientist, the word “fiber” connotes a slender, thread-like structure with substantial mechanical properties. The term includes a vast array of natural and synthetic materials — derived from metals, polymers, ceramic and vitreous materials, and from diverse animal and plant origins. Wood is a fibrous material in the main. In the woods produced by conifers, some 90 per cent of the volumetric composition and approximately 95 per cent of the dry mass can be attributed to cellulosic fibers known as tracheids. Lignified cellulosic fibers of various kinds form the bulk of virtually all woods. Accordingly, our attention focuses on the constituent fibers when we consider the material wood from a materials science standpoint. In wood as well as in other plant-derived materials, the fibers are in reality the exoskeletons of once-living, elongate cells that originated from a meristem. The cells each have a lumen, or hollow center.


Cell Wall Elastic Constant Cell Wall Structure Middle Lamella Wood Cell Wall 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard E. Mark
    • 1
  1. 1.Empire State Paper Research InstituteState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA

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