Analysis of the Relationship Between Microstructure and Elastic Properties of the Cell Wall


  • R. C. Tang
  • N. N. Hsu


Cell-wall model, composite material theory, elastic constants


A three-dimensional analysis of the relationship between the microstructure and the anisotropic elastic properties of the cell wall was made, using the theory of composite materials. In particular, the influence of the orientation of microfibrils in each layer, crossed helical structure, thickness of layers, and the spacing between the rectangular reinforced microfibrils to such properties were explored; spacing between microfibrils in each wall layer was found to be critical, and presence of crossed helices in the Sa layer and the S2 micro-fibril angles was found significant in relation to elastic properties. Numerical data of all elastic constants of the cell wall were evaluated for five hypothetical models that included the fibers of earlywood, latewood, and compression wood. Theoretical data of the axial Young's modulus of the wood fibers were compared with those values obtained from static tension tests and sonic tests by other investigators. The inadequacy of the technique used in the static tension tests of wood fibers was discussed, and a proper approach for such analysis was suggested.


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Research Contributions