Review of Literature on the Effects of Early Stages of Decay on Wood Strength


  • W. Wayne Wilcox


Literature review, biodegradation, wood decay, decay, brown rot, white rot, fungi, hardwoods, softwoods, strength, mechanical properties, weight loss, deterioration


Available literature on the effects of early stages of wood decay on various strength properties is reviewed. Results, adjusted to equivalent weight losses, are compared tabularly. Strength in toughness and impact bending appear to be almost totally lost after losses in weight of less than 10%; some other strength properties are affected to only minor degrees.


Brown, F. L. 1963. A tensile strength test for comparative evaluation of wood preservatives. For. Prod. J. 13(9):405-412.nCartwright, K. St. G., W. P. K. Findlay, C. J. Chaplin, and W. G. Campbell. 1931. The effect of progressive decay by Trametes serials Fr. on the mechanical strength of the wood of Sitka spruce. Great Britain Dep. Sci. Ind. Res. For. Prod. Res. Bull. No. 11.nGillwald, W., and J. Michalak. 1963. Vergleichende Untersuchungen über die Einwirkung von verschiedenen holzzerstörenden Pilzen auf einige physikalische Eigenschaften und die Festigkeit des Pappelholzes (Populus marilatidica Bose.). Wiss. Z. Humboldt-Univ. Berlin, Math. Naturwiss. Reihe. 12(2):265-273.nHartley, C. 1958. Evaluation of wood decay in experimental work. USDA For. Prod. Lab. Mimeo No. 2119.nHenningsson, B. 1967. Changes in impact bending strength, weight, and alkali solubility following fungal attack on birch wood. Stud. For. Suec. (Stockholm) No. 41.nKennedy, R. W. 1958. Strength retention in wood decayed to small weight losses. For. Prod. J. 8(10):308-314.nKennedy, R. W., and G. Ifju. 1962. Applications of microtensile testing to thin wood sections. Tappi 45(9):725-733.nKubiak, M., and G. Kerner. 1963. Die Veränderungen einiger physikalischer Eigenschaften, der Druckfestigkeit und der chemischen Zusammensetzung des Buchenholzes im Anfangsstadium des Holzabbanes durch Coniophora cerebella Pers. und Stereum hirsutum Willd. Drev. Výsk. 1963(4):181-193.nMizumoto, S. 1966. The effect of decay caused by Gloeophyllum trabeum on the strength properties of Japanese red pine sap-wood. J. Jap. For. Soc. 48(1):7-11.nMulholland, J. R. 1954. Changes in weight and strength of Sitka spruce associated with decay by a brown-rot fungus, Poria monticola. J. For. Prod. Res. Soc. 4(6):410-416.nPeciimann, H. Von, and O. Schaile. 1950. Über die Änderung der dynamischen Festigkeit und der chemischen Zusammensetzung des Holzes durch den Angriff holzzerstorender Pilze. Forstwiss. Centralbl. 69(8):441-466.nRichards, D. B. 1954. Physical changes in decaying wood. J. For. 52:260-265.nScheffer, T. C. 1936. Progressive effects of Polyporus versicolor on the physical and chemical properties of red gum sapwood. USDA Tech. Bull. No. 527.nToole, E. R. 1971. Reduction in crushing strength and weight associated with decay by rot fungi. Wood Sci. 3(3):172-178.nWilcox, W. W. 1968. Changes in wood micro-structure through progressive stages of decay. USDA For. Serv. Res. Paper FPL-70.n






Research Contributions