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S. Florisson, L. Muszynski, J. Vessby


The empirical test developed as validation for a new beam element model that can account for both mechanical and environmental load action in finite element analysis is presented. The testing protocol allows for the identification and analysis of contributing deflection components in bending under varying MC conditions, including mechano-sorption. The components of deflection in the shear-free span of a four-point bending test and their responses to varying moisture are evaluated with an analytical procedure. The experiment was conducted on clear-straight-grained sapwood and heartwood specimens of Norway spruce (Picea Abies)(30 x 15 x 640 mm3). The program consisted of three phases: (1.) long term (LT) experiments under constant temperature of 60oC and relative humidity (RH) cycles between 40% and 80%, (2.) a short term static experiment to determine the variation in the sample set and the load-level of the LT experiment on end-matched specimens, and (3) creep tests at 60and constant humidity at either 40% or 80% to determine the effect of moisture on the viscoelastic creep. Mass changes and hygro-expansion measured on matched specimens were used in the analytical method. Constitutive models used for describing the material-level response to loads and moisture changes were applied to the shear-free segment of the specimens disregarding actual moisture gradients and fiber orientation inside the test specimens. A successful identification of each deflection component and isolation of mechano-sorption component was accomplished. In the 90 da of testing, the dominant component of the total deflection was the elastic component, followed by the mechano-sorptive component. Creep was found to be nonnegligible and important in the correct description of mechano-sorption. The effect of moisture on the viscoelastic behavior showed most important during loading and first stages of decreasing deflection rate phase.


Bending; solid wood; Norway spruce; creep; experimental methodology; mechano-sorption; viscoelasticity

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