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Comparison of mechanical properties of tension and opposite wood in Populus

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  • Physics


In this paper we focused on the differences of mechanical properties of tension and normal wood of 1-year-old poplar trees, artificially tilted. Elastic and fracture properties have been measured and linked to the anatomy. Tension wood is well known because it prevents good surface finishing and leads to difficulties with sawing. We studied three main mechanical properties: young modulus, energy of cutting and longitudinal residual strain of maturation (with strain gauges) because of their importance in wood technology. Moreover, this work takes place in a larger project of study, the phenomena of axes re-orientation in trees (allowing by the production of reaction wood), where these data are required for biomechanical modelling. The results show that tension wood has a higher young modulus, needs a higher energy to be cut and exhibited a higher level of longitudinal residual strain of maturation than those of normal wood. The results suggest that these differences require deeper analysis of the wood than anatomy: measurement of microfibril orientation in the S2 layer and also the lignin composition in monomeric units.

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