Micromechanical modeling of solid-type and plate-type deformation patterns within softwood materials. A review and an improved approach

Hofstetter, K., Hellmich, C. and Eberhardsteiner, J. (2007) Micromechanical modeling of solid-type and plate-type deformation patterns within softwood materials. A review and an improved approach. Holzforschung, 61(4), pp. 343-351. (doi:10.1515/HF.2007.058)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/HF.2007.058


Wood exhibits a highly diverse microstructure. It appears as a solid-type composite material at a length scale of some micrometers, while it resembles an assembly of plate-like elements arranged in a honeycomb fashion at the length scale of some hundreds of micrometers. These structural features result in different load-carrying mechanisms at different observation scales and under different loading conditions. In this paper, we elucidate the main load-carrying mechanisms by means of a micromechanical model for softwood materials. Representing remarkable progress with respect to earlier models reported in the literature, this model is valid across various species. The model is based on tissue-independent stiffness properties of cellulose, lignin, hemicellulose, and water obtained from direct testing and lattice-dynamics analyses. Sample-specific characteristics are considered in terms of porosity and the contents of cellulose, lignin, hemicelluloses and water, which are obtained from mass density measurements, environmental scanning micrographs, analytical chemistry, and NMR spectroscopy. The model comprises three homogenization steps, two based on continuum micromechanics and one on the unit cell method. The latter represents plate-like bending and shear of the cell walls due to transverse shear loading and axial straining in the tangential stem direction. Accurate representation of these deformation modes results in accurate (orthotropic) stiffness estimates across a variety of softwood species. These stiffness predictions deviate, on average, by less than 10% from corresponding experimental results obtained from ultrasonic or quasi-static testing. Thus, the proposed model can reliably predict microscopic and macroscopic mechanical properties from internal structure and composition, and is therefore expected to significantly support wood production technology (such as drying techniques) and mechanical analyses of timber structures.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:De Borst, Dr Karin
Authors: Hofstetter, K., Hellmich, C., and Eberhardsteiner, J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
Journal Name:Holzforschung
Publisher:Walter de Gruyter
ISSN (Online):1437-434X

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