Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - WOOD MOISTURE (Experimental and Computational Modelling of Mechano-Sorptive Fracture Processes in Wood)

Moisture transfer in wood was subjected to comprehensive experimental and numerical analysis. Fracture behaviour under varying humidity conditions was investigated on microstructural level using special microscopic techniques which allow for direct observation of fracture processes under load. Characterisation of fracture properties was evaluated through extensive experimental testing using wedge-splitting technique. Numerical simulations of interactions between the moisture and cracking were performed with finite element method and different fracture models .Especially challenging problems are resolved with implementation of digital image analysis to simulate exact microstructural features and with the analysis of anomalous mode of diffusion at higher moisture content levels.

The results from both experimental and numerical investigation show that there exist a distinct influence of moisture on fracture behaviour and fracture properties of softwoods and hardwoods. More ductile behaviour at higher moisture content levels was evidenced, with increasing brittleness with a moisture content decrease. From the theoretical point of view significant achievement is novel treatment of green wood as a poroelastic media. Direct experimental evidence of fracture process zone at varying moisture content is also novelty, of special significance for physically based numerical models and realistic numerical simulations.

Significant contributions were made also with simulation techniques of both continuum and discrete numerical models, especially with mimicking actual fracture processes on digital image micrographs. New scientific frontiers in wood moisture research have been tackled with the potential to evolve into long-term effort to resolve previously poorly understood fracture phenomena in wood when subjected to varying humidity conditions.

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