Microstructure–stiffness relationships of ten European and tropical hardwood species

De Borst, K., Bader, T.K. and Wikete, C. (2012) Microstructure–stiffness relationships of ten European and tropical hardwood species. Journal of Structural Biology, 177(2), pp. 532-542. (doi:10.1016/j.jsb.2011.10.010)

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Hardwood species exhibit a huge anatomical variability. This makes them perfect study objects for exploring relations between structural features at different length scales and corresponding stiffness properties of wood. We carry out microscopic analysis, nanoindentation tests, as well as macroscale ultrasonic and quasi-static tension tests and build a complete set of microstructural and corresponding micromechanical data of ten different (European and tropical) hardwood species. In addition, we apply micromechanical modeling to further elucidate the individual influences of particular structural features, which might appear only in a superimposed manner in experiments. The test results confirm the dominant influences of the microfibril angle on the stiffness at cell wall level and of density at the macroscopic scale. Vessels and ray cells affect the macroscopic stiffness of the wood tissue not only through their content, but also through their arrangement and shape: A ring-porous structure results in comparably higher longitudinal but lower radial stiffness than a diffuse-porous one. As for ray cells, large and particularly compactly shaped bundles might reduce the stiffness in tangential direction because of the fiber deviations they cause. Moreover, vessel and ray content might affect the relation between nanoindentation modulus and density-corrected macroscopic longitudinal stiffness.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:De Borst, Dr Karin
Authors: De Borst, K., Bader, T.K., and Wikete, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:Journal of Structural Biology
Published Online:06 November 2011

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