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Morais - Mechanical Behaviour of Wood

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1

Departamento de Engenharias, ICETA/UTAD, Portugal

2

Departamento de Florestal, ICETA/UTAD, Portugal

Abstract

A numerical and experimental work was performed to examine the suitability of several

specimen configurations (straight-sided, dog-bone and notched) for the determination of

the tensile strength of clear Pinus Pinaster wood, in the orthotropic directions. A 3-D

linear finite element model of the specimens was used to assess the uniformity and

purity of stress and strain fields in their gauge section. It was found that the straight-

sided and dog-bone specimens are reliable geometries for characterizing the initial

linear elastic response. However, the results predicted by the finite element method

using the Tsai-Hill failure criterion and the experimental observations, clearly indicate

that failure is due to stress concentration effects and occurs under a complex stress state.

1 Introduction

material is the accurate knowledge of its mechanical properties. However, the

experimental identification and the analytical modelling of mechanical behaviour of

wood remains an open problem, due to its natural variability, inhomogeneity and

anisotropy.

Wood as long been recognised as an orthotropic material [1], with an internal structure

which is characterised by the existence of three mutually perpendicular planes of

symmetry. Those planes are defined by the longitudinal direction (L) along the fibres,

the radial direction (R) towards annual rings and tangential direction (T) to the annual

rings. To fully characterize the mechanical behaviour of wood it is necessary to know

the stress-strain relationships referred to the LRT reference frame. The mechanical tests

are the only way to obtain such data, but several difficulties arise in making the right

experimental measurement, particularly those concerning the identification of ultimate

stresses.

In the framework of synthetic composites an intensive research effort has been devoted

to the experimental identification of stress-strain relationships, including the ultimate

stresses [2-8]. The same does not hold for solid wood, for which there are few studies

about its orthotropic mechanical behaviour [9-14]. The majority of published works

devoted to this subject focused on the initial elastic behaviour. Indeed, the structural

computations are in general built in the hypothesis of a wood linear elastic behaviour

[15-17]. However, it is clear from the results published by several authors that wood

possesses a non-linear mechanical behaviour [18]. Hence, a more realistic

representation of mechanical behaviour of wood is needed for some structural problems,

like those in the mechanics of timber joints [18].

The main problem to overcome concerning the experimental identification of complete

stress-strain relationships of solid wood, in its principal material axes (L, R and T axes),

is the determination of the true ultimate stresses. This is not a trivial task owing to the

orthotropic nature of wood. The current standards are unsatisfactory to determine the

true strengths of wood, namely the shear strengths and the strength perpendicular to the

grain [14-19]. To achieve the most suitable test methods more detailed investigations

must be performed about the influence of specimen geometry, size effects, loading

mode and gripping arrangements.

The objective of this work is to evaluate the most accurate mechanical tests for the

experimental identification of on-axis tensile strength of clear wood. This is a part of a

more broad investigation recently undertaken by the authors, about the non-linear

mechanical behaviour of wood.

2 Experimental work

Logs from Pinus Pinaster wood were live-sawn into boards, from which matched

samples of mature wood were cut. Several specimens were prepared to be loaded in the

L, R and T directions. Three types of specimen geometries were examined: straight-

sided, dog-bone and notched specimens. Figures 1 to 3 shows these specimens

configurations and the corresponding nominal dimensions. The specimen ends were

reinforced with fibreboard tabs, in order to prevent any damage introduced by the

loading fixture. All the specimens were tested in the green state, immediately after

cutting.

R

30

200

T

3

R16

L

15

40 30 11 39

3

L L

30

R T

40 3 15 3

140

(a)

32

L L

R5

24

30

R T

40 9.4 41.2 3 15 3

140

(b)

R28

L L

22

30

R T

40 15.6 28.8 3 15 3

140

(c)

(a) straight-sided specimen

(b) dog-bone specimen

(c) notched specimen

L L

40

T R

40 3 15 3

200

Quasi-static tensile tests were conducted in an Instron 1125 universal testing machine,

under a crosshead speed of 1 mm / min . Wedge action grips were employed, which

prevent the rotation of the specimen ends. One of the grips remains fixed while the

other is displaced at a constant speed (1 mm / min ) until specimen failure. All the tests

were performed in the laboratory temperature and moisture conditions.

The numerical modelation of uniaxial tensile tests has been achieved by the finite

element method, using the commercial software ANSYS 5.6.2. A 3-D linear elastic

analysis was performed based on the SOLID 45 element, from the ANSYS finite

element library [20]. This element is defined by eight nodes and orthotropic directions,

with a total 24 degree of freedom.

The specimen geometries considered in the finite element analysis were the dog-bone

and notched geometries (see Figs. 1 to 3). The finite element mesh generated to model

such specimens has a number of elements between 1200 and 648. A more refined mesh

does not significantly alter the results obtained.

Fig. 4 illustrates the boundary conditions applied to the model, which are intended to be

in agreement with the non-rigid and non-rotating gripping arrangement. On one side of

the specimens, the nodes along one of the specimen edge were fixed, while a

longitudinal displacement was imposed on the other side. The prescribed nodal

displacements allow the free contraction in the thickness direction due to Poisson effect.

Although these are idealized boundary conditions, a comparison of numerical and

experimental results can be made. A plot of the deformed model was used to check the

boundary conditions of the elements.

In the finite element analysis described above the material properties are those

corresponding to the Pine Loblolly wood [21], which are presented in Tab. 1.

Table 1. Mechanical properties of Pine Loblolly

EL ER ET G RT G LT G LR

RT LT LR

[GPa] [GPa] [GPa] [GPa] [GPa] [GPa]

13,530 1,529 1,055 0,382 0,292 0,328 0,176 1,096 1,109

[kPa] grain [kPa ] [kPa]

80,000 3,200 9,600

In the ideal test specimen, the stress and strain fields are pure and uniform, so that

failure occurs in a single mode and is not influenced by stress concentrations or

complex stress states. The objective of the finite element study previously described is

just to assess the degree of purity and uniformity of strain field in the gauge section of

the specimens, and attempt to determine the failure location.

After examining the u , v and w displacement fields (see Fig. 5 to 7) it was found that

the dog-bone specimen exhibit an extended region on the gauge section where the strain

field is almost uniform. The stress state in that region is also a pure and homogeneous

uniaxial stress state. Consequently, accurate measurements of material response can be

made using strain gages bonded to the specimen surface. The same does not hold for

the notched specimens, used by Stauzl-Tschegg et al. [22], because the strain gages

usually cover a larger region than the region where exists a uniform field of linear

strains and zero shear strains. The displacement fields presented in the Figs. 5 to 7 are

representative of the actual displacement field, but the predicted magnitude is not in

agreement with the actual ones because the displacement distribution depends on the

material properties.

(a)

Figure 5 a, b, c (continue). Displacement field in longitudinal dog-bone specimen

(b)

(c)

(a) u displacement component

(b) v displacement component

(c) w displacement component

(a)

(b)

(c)

(a) u displacement component

(b) v displacement component

(c) w displacement component

(a)

(b)

(c)

Figure 7 a, b, c (continue). Displacement field in Radial notched specimen

(a) u displacement component

(b) v displacement component

(c) w displacement component

Since linear elastic behaviour is assumed, the location of initial failure can be calculated

by comparing the element stresses with the clear wood strength via the failure criteria.

In this work the Tsai-Hill criterion [23] was used, which accounts for differences in

strengths in principal material directions. The finite element results depicted in Figs. 7

a, b, c suggest that the specimen geometries examined (see Figs. 1 to 3) are not

appropriate to identity the true strengths of wood parallel to the grain and perpendicular

to the grain.

The macrofractography of the tangential specimens (see Fig. 8) demonstrates that the

straight-sided geometry work very well, because the failure occurs in the gauge section

away from the gripping ends. Additionally, it can be seen that the fracture surface is not

oriented in the loading direction but is always fairly oriented in the tangential direction.

This fact is a clear indication of a mixed mode failure, hence the recorded tensile

strength (see Tab. 2) is not the true tensile strength of wood in the tangential direction.

The types of failure in the Radial specimens are shown in Fig. 9. In all the tested

geometries stress concentration effects influence the failure, except for the dog-bone

configuration. Although the finite element analysis predicts the failure occurrence in the

notch root of dog-bone specimens, most of them failed in the gauge section, probably

due to the spatial distribution of wood defects. However the measured strength in the

radial direction (see Tab. 2) must be used with caution.

(a)

(b)

(c)

(a) longitudinal specimen

(b) radial dog-bone specimen

(c) radial notched specimen

As illustrated in Fig. 10 the failure in the longitudinal specimens occurs in the notch

root as was predicted by the Tsai-Hill criteria, so that the measured strength parallel to

the grain (see Tab. 2) is below the true strength.

Table 2. Tensile strength of Pinus Pinaster

967

(see Fig. 8 a)

Tensile straight sided

2550

(see Fig. 8 b)

Radial straight sided

7778

(see Fig. 9 a)

Radial dog-bone

6514

(see Fig. 9 b)

Radial dog-bone

7667

(see Fig. 9c)

Radial notched

7089

(see Fig. 9d)

Longitudinal straight sided

26378

(see Fig. 10)

(a)

(b)

(a) straight sided specimen

(b) straight sided specimen

(a) (b) (c) (d)

Figure 9 a, b, c, d. Typical failure of Radial specimens

(a) straight sided specimen

(b) dog-bone specimen

(c) dog-bone specimen

(d) notched specimen

5 Conclusions

A numerical and experimental investigation has been carried out to evaluate the

performance of different specimen configurations for the determination of on-axis

mechanical behaviour of wood. Three types of specimen geometries were examined:

straight-sided geometry, dog-bone geometry and notched geometry. The straight-sided

specimen and the dog-bone specimen are suitable for experimental identification of the

initial linear mechanical response, as was confirmed by a 3-D finite element analysis.

However, none of the tested specimens are appropriate to measure the tensile strengths

of wood in its principal material direction. The predicted and observed failure is

influenced by stress concentration effects and occur under combined rather than pure

uniaxial tensile loading.

7 References

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8. Odegard, G. and Kumosa, M. (1999): Elasto-plastic analisys of the Iosipescu shear

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9. Liu, J. Y. (1984): New shear strenght test for solid wood. Wood and Fiber Science,

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10. Sliver, A. and Yu, Y. (1993): Elastic constants for hardwood measured from plate

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13. Liu, J. Y., Ross, R. J. And Rammer, S. R. (1996): Improved Arcan shear test for

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18. Bouchair, A. and Vergne, A. (1995): An application of Tsai criterion as a plastic

flow law for Timber bolted modelling. Wood Sci Techn., 30 (1): 3-19

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21. Stanzl-Tschegg, S. E., Tan, D. M. and Tschegg, E. K., (1995): New splitting method

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Mech., 5 (9): 283-288

Acknowledgements

We would like to thanks to the Foundation for Science and Technology from the

Ministry of Science and Technology for the financial support in the execution of this

work, in the ambit of the project POCTI/1999/EME/36270, Non-linear mechanical

behaviour of wood.

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