Veneer Surface Roughness and Compressibility Pertaining to Plywood/LVL Manufacturing. Part I. Experimentation and Implication

Brad Jianhe Wang, Chunping Dai, Simon Ellis


Extensive experiments were conducted to examine the transverse compression behavior of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) veneer at ambient and controlled temperature and moisture content (MC) environments, and the relationship between contact area, veneer surface roughness, and applied load. Based on the results, a novel method was developed to characterize surface roughness/quality of wood veneer in terms of its compression behavior. This method may have significant implication on both theory and practice. In theory, the general wood transverse compression theory needs to be revised to include four stages instead of the commonly defined three. The first stage, which has long been overlooked but is critically important, could be named "progressive contact." During this stage, the contact area increases nonlinearly with the load applied. It is this stage that reveals the interfacial contact of veneer-to-veneer or veneer-to-plate and the minimum veneer compression required for achieving adequate contact. With the inclusion of the first stage, the yield displacement also needs to be redefined. In practice, the method provides a fast and objective way of evaluating veneer surface roughness/quality for plywood/LVL manufacturing. Furthermore, the minimum compression required and yield displacement of wood veneer derived from its compressive load-displacement curve were found to be independent of temperature and MC, which helps benchmark material recovery in terms of veneer surface roughness/quality when manufacturing into quality plywood/LVL products. The method could also be applied to other wood composite elements such as wood strands.


Compressibility;compression;contact area;laminated veneer lumber (LVL);load;material recovery;plywood;progressive contact;roughness;strand;surface quality;trembling aspen;veneer

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