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Changes in the mechanical properties of wood during a period of moisture conditioning


Changes in the modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), and stress relaxation in the radial direction of wood (hinoki:Chamaecyparis obtusa) moisture-conditioned by the adsorption process from a dry state and by the desorption process from a moisture content slightly below the fiber saturation point were investigated. The MOE and MOR of wood conditioned by the adsorption process showed significant increases during the later stages of conditioning when the moisture content scarcely changed. However, with the desorption process they did not increase as much during later stages of conditioning, though they increased during early stages of conditioning when the moisture content greatly decreased. The stress relaxation of wood decreased with an increase in the conditioning period with both the adsorption and desorption processes. These results suggest that wood in an unstable state, caused by the existing state of moisture differed from that in a true equilibrium state shows lower elasticity and strength and higher fluidity than wood in a true equilibrium state. Furthermore, the present study demonstrates that the unstable states of wood induced during the course of drying, desorption, and possibly adsorption of moisture are slowly modified as wood approaches a true equilibrium state.


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Correspondence to Yutaka Ishimaru.

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Ishimaru, Y., Oshima, K. & Iida, I. Changes in the mechanical properties of wood during a period of moisture conditioning. J Wood Sci 47, 254–261 (2001).

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Key words

  • Moisture-conditioned wood
  • Modulus of elasticity
  • Modulus of rupture
  • Stress relaxation