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Differences of tensile strength distribution between mechanically high-grade and low-grade Japanese larch lumber I: Effect of length on the strength of lumber


An experimental study was conducted to evaluate the effect of length on the parallel-to-grain tensile strength of Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi, Carriere) lumber. Six hundred pieces of mechanically graded lumber were tested at gauge lengths of 60, 100, and 180 cm. The lumber was sorted into matched groups according to the dynamic Young's modulus measured by the longitudinal vibration method before the lumber was cut to the particular length. The averages of the dynamic Young's modulus of high-grade (H) and low-grade (L) specimens were 12.8 and 7.5 GPa, respectively. Using nonparametric estimates, the estimated length effect parameters of H and L were 0.268 and 0.304 for the 50th percentile and 0.121 and 0.256 for the 5th percentile, respectively. We then concluded that the different length effect factors between H and L could be used when using the lumber for practical purposes. The parameters of L were larger than those for H, and the parameters for 5th percentiles were smaller than the parameters for 50th percentiles. When two-parameter Weibull distribution functions were fitted to the strength data, the estimated shape parameters of the Weibull distribution by the parametric method were almost identifical to the inverse of nonparametric parameters except the 5th percentiles for H. The influence of defects such as knots on the lower tail of the strength distribution in H may be different from that in L.


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Correspondence to Takashi Takeda.

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Takeda, T., Hashizume, T. Differences of tensile strength distribution between mechanically high-grade and low-grade Japanese larch lumber I: Effect of length on the strength of lumber. J Wood Sci 45, 200–206 (1999).

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Key words

  • Mechanical grading
  • Tension parallel-to-grain
  • Weakest link theory