Mode I Fracture Behaviour on the Growth Ring Scale and Cellular Level of Spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) and Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) Loaded in the TR Crack Propagation System

K. Frühmann, I. Burgert, S. E. Stanzl-Tschegg,  and E. K. Tschegg


Crack propagation in wood is strongly influenced by the microscopic structure of the material. The relationship between structure and function with regard to damage and fracture behaviour can only be understood with a sufficiently fine level of examination. An experimental approach to perform micro-wedge splitting tests on spruce and beech inside the chamber of an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope and under atmospheric conditions is presented. The specimens are loaded in mode I in the TR crack propagation system. Based on the load-displacement diagram, the characteristic parameters of fracture energy, critical load and initial elasticity are determined. The load and displacement data for the in situ experiments are related to the obtained ESEM images and allow a discussion of the fracture process on the cellular level. Density was found to be an important factor for fracture mode and several crack arresting phenomena depending on the variation of elasticity could be identified.

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Holzforschung is an international scholarly journal that publishes cutting-edge research on the biology, chemistry, physics and technology of wood and wood components. High quality papers about biotechnology and tree genetics are also welcome. Rated year after year as one of the top scientific journals in the category of Pulp and Paper (ISI Journal Citation Index), Holzforschung represents innovative, high quality basic and applied research.