Journal article

Experimental characterization of longitudinal mechanical properties of clear timber: Random spatial variability and size effects

In this study, an experimental campaign was conducted to characterize the length effect on the elasticity and tensile strength of clear spruce wood parallel to the grain direction. Four groups of specimens of different lengths, cut from the same log, were tested under the same conditions under longitudinal tensile loading. The cross-sectional area of the specimens was selected as being constant and sufficiently small to exclude the effect of variations of the properties in the transverse direction. Local deformations along the lengths of the specimens were recorded during the tests in order to characterize the spatial variability of the elastic modulus. A connection between the mesostructure of the clear wood and its local elastic modulus was observed. Statistics concerning the elastic modulus, strength and strain to failure and the effect of length change on these properties were extracted. The strength statistics were also used to examine the accuracy of the classical Weibull size effect law. The correlations between the strength, the elasticity and the density were obtained. The results show a variability of approximately 20% in the local elastic modulus. Also, the variability of the effective elastic modulus decreases with increasing length. The mean value of the strength has an upper bound when the length approaches zero, in contrast to the Weibull law, while its variability remains virtually unchanged for different lengths.


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