Mechanical Properties of Individual Southern Pine Fibers. Part I. Determination and Variability of Stress-Strain Curves with Respect to Tree Height and Juvenility

Les Groom, Laurence Mott, Stephen Shaler

Abstract


This paper is the first in a three-part series investigating the mechanical properties of loblolly pine fibers. This paper outlines the experimental method and subsequent variation of latewood fiber mechanical properties in relation to tree position. Subsequent papers will deal with differences between earlywood and latewood fibers and effect of juvenility and tree height on global fiber properties. In this paper, the mechanical properties were determined on individual wood fiber with a user-built tensile testing apparatus. Cross-sectional areas of post-tested fibers were determined with a confocal scanning laser microscope and used to convert acquired load-elongation curves into stress-strain curves. The modulus of elasticity and ultimate tensile stress of loblolly pine latewood fibers tested in this study ranged from 6.55 to 27.5 GPa and 410 to 1,422 MPa, respectively. Fibers from the juvenile core of the main stem were on the low end of the mechanical property scale, whereas fibers beyond the twentieth growth ring were near the high end of the scale. Coefficient of variation for fiber stiffness and strength averaged around 20 to 25%. The shape of the fiber stress-strain curves is dependent on their growth ring origins: Mature fibers were linear from initial loading until failure, whereas juvenile fibers demonstrated curvilinearity until about 60% of maximum load followed by linear behavior to failure.

Keywords


Modulus of elasticity;ultimate tensile stress;juvenility;confocal scanning laser microscope;cross-sectional area;microfibril angle

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