Skip to Main Content
Mechanical properties of woodAuthor(s): David Kretschmann
Source: Wood handbook : wood as an engineering material: chapter 5. Centennial ed. General technical report FPL ; GTR-190. Madison, WI : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, 2010: p. 5.1-5.46.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Forest Products Laboratory
PDF: View PDF (2.12 MB)
DescriptionThe mechanical properties presented in this chapter were obtained from tests of pieces of wood termed “clear” and “straight grained” because they did not contain characteristics such as knots, cross grain, checks, and splits. These test pieces did have anatomical characteristics such as growth rings that occurred in consistent patterns within each piece. Clear wood specimens are usually considered “homogeneous” in wood mechanics. Many of the mechanical properties of wood tabulated in this chapter were derived from extensive sampling and analysis procedures. These properties are represented as the average mechanical properties of the species. Some properties, such as tension parallel to the grain, and all properties for some imported species are based on a more limited number of specimens that were not subjected to the same sampling and analysis procedures. The appropriateness of these latter properties to represent the average properties of a species is uncertain; nevertheless, the properties represent the best information available. Variability, or variation in properties, is common to all materials. Because wood is a natural material and the tree is subject to many constantly changing influences (such as moisture, soil conditions, and growing space), wood properties vary considerably, even in clear material. This chapter provides information, where possible, on the nature and magnitude of variability in properties. This chapter also includes a discussion of the effect of growth features, such as knots and slope of grain, on clear wood properties. The effects of manufacturing and service environments on mechanical properties are discussed, and their effects on clear wood and material containing growth features are compared. Chapter 7 discusses how these research results have been implemented in engineering standards.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationKretschmann, David E. 2010. Mechanical properties of wood. Wood handbook : wood as an engineering material: chapter 5. Centennial ed. General technical report FPL ; GTR-190. Madison, WI : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, 2010: p. 5.1-5.46.
KeywordsMechanical properties, elasticity, modulus of elasticity, vibration, wood moisture, specific gravity, shear, hardness, softwoods, hardwoods, tree-rings, juvenile wood, temperature, wood defects, strength, fatigue, creep, wood properties, wood strength, orthotropic materials, vibration tests, bending strength, compressive strength, tensile strength, shear strength, physical properties, knots, reaction wood, failure
- Mechanical properties of wood
- Properties of lumber products
- Lumber stress grades and design properties
XML: View XML