Experimental study of moisture-driven distortion and fracture in solid wood

Finn Larsen, Sigurdur Ormarsson, John Forbes Olesen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Moisture-induced fracture and lack of shape stability in solid wood products are well known problems to the saw-milling and building industries. Cracks that initiate during the drying process may cause severe material losses and the building industry may be forced to use alternative building materials. The cracking caused by kiln-drying of solid timber (and round wood) is extremely difficult to predict due to the strong orthotropic and non-homogeneous characteristics of the material in combination with considerable amounts of microscopic defects which may act as crack initiators. An experimental study has been performed to reveal the cracking behaviour of Norway spruce during drying from green moisture content down to equilibrium moisture content (EMC) at a temperature of 22-24°C and a RH of 64%. The moisture related strains and crack widths were measured with a digital image correlation system (ARAMIS) on thin discs cut from a timber log. The history of the strain field over the entire cross section of the discs was measured throughout the drying period. The results showed that the thicker discs (30 mm) cracked very early during the drying process. They also cracked significantly more than the thinner ones (15 mm) and the crack patterns developed differently. For the thicker discs the early cracks which may partly be caused by the moisture gradient in the longitudinal direction of the log, closed and became invisible later during the drying process. This indicates that sealing of timber log ends in the green moisture state could significantly reduce the development of end-cracks. It was also recognized that the initial moisture content and the shrinkage properties vary significantly from pith to bark. Based on this experimental finding it can be concluded that modelling of crack propagation in solid wood must take the material inhomogeneities into account.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings. 11th International IUFRO Wood Drying Conference : Recent Advances in the Field of Wood Drying
Number of pages415
Place of PublicationLuleå, Sweden
PublisherLuleå University of Technology
Publication date2010
Edition11
Pages137-144
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event11th International IUFRO Wood Drying Conference : Recent Advances in the Field of Wood Drying - Skellefteå, Sweden
Duration: 18 Jan 201022 Jan 2010
Conference number: 11

Conference

Conference11th International IUFRO Wood Drying Conference : Recent Advances in the Field of Wood Drying
Number11
Country/TerritorySweden
CitySkellefteå
Period18/01/201022/01/2010

Keywords

  • wood drying, Aramis, cracks

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