EFFECT OF GROWTH RING WIDTH AND FIBER DIMENSIONS ON THE COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF SOME MEMBERS OF THE MORACEAE FAMILY
Keywords:Compression strength, Coefficient of flexibility, Runkel ratio, Slenderness ratio, Morphometrics, Wood maceration.
Investigations were carried out on the effect of growth ring width, fiber morphometrics, and wood type on the compressive strength of three members of the Moraceae family namely; Milicia excelsa, Treculia africana, and Antiaris toxicaria. Fiber diameter (D), Fiber length (L), fiber lumen diameter (l), cell wall thickness (c), derived fiber values, and growth ring width were measured and correlated with compressive strength. Results obtained revealed significant relationships: negative between growth ring width and compressive strength and positive between wood type and compression strength at p = 0.05 and p < 0.01 levels. A. Toxicaria had the highest compression strength which differed significantly (p = 0.05) when compared with T. africana and M. excelsa. On the other hand, T. africana was observed to have the smallest growth ring width and shorter fibers. It is evident from the results that species with narrower growth rings widths have higher compression strength, although some factors other than this, which may depend on the wood type, could equally influence the compression strength positively.
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