Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 13, 2011

Changes in microstructure and stiffness of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L) sapwood degraded by Gloeophyllum trabeum and Trametes versicolor – Part II: Anisotropic stiffness properties

Thomas K. Bader, Karin Hofstetter, Gry Alfredsen and Susanne Bollmus
From the journal


Fungal decay considerably affects the macroscopic mechanical properties of wood as a result of modifications and degradations in its microscopic structure. While effects on mechanical properties related to the stem direction are fairly well understood, effects on radial and tangential directions (transverse properties) are less well investigated. In the present study, changes of longitudinal elastic moduli and stiffness data in all anatomical directions of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) sapwood which was degraded by Gloeophyllum trabeum (brown rot) and Trametes versicolor (white rot) for up to 28 weeks have been investigated. Transverse properties were found to be much more deteriorated than the longitudinal ones. This is because of the degradation of the polymer matrix between the cellulose microfibrils, which has a strong effect on transverse stiffness. Longitudinal stiffness, on the other hand, is mainly governed by cellulose microfibrils, which are more stable agains fungal decay. G. trabeum (more active in earlywood) strongly weakens radial stiffness, whereas T. versicolor (more active in latewood) strongly reduces tangential stiffness. The data in terms of radial and tangential stiffnesses, as well as the corresponding anisotropy ratios, seem to be suitable as durability indicators of wood and even allow conclusions to be made on the degradation mechanisms of fungi.

Corresponding author. Institute for Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Faculty for Civil Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria

Received: 2011-2-9
Accepted: 2011-8-18
Published Online: 2011-09-13
Published in Print: 2012-02-01

©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston