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Moisture content dependence of anisotropic vibrational properties of wood at quasi equilibrium: analytical review and multi-trajectories experiments

Iris Brémaud and Joseph Gril
From the journal Holzforschung

Abstract

This article aims at providing a synthetic view of the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) dependence of wood vibrational properties (i.e. dynamic mechanical properties in the audio-frequency range), including specific dynamic modulus of elasticity (E′/γ) and damping coefficient expressing internal friction (tanδ). A series of multi-trajectories experiments was designed to complete an analytical review. Literature indicates that: (1) in longitudinal (L) direction, the EMC dependence of E′/γ shows a very consistent shape (rather linear) between studies, while its shape is non-linear for tanδ and varies significantly between studies; (2) EMC dependence of tanδ is rather well documented in the L direction, in adsorption, for softwoods, but data covering EMC dependence in both L and other anisotropic directions, and sorption hysteresis, are still scarce. Experiments were conducted on a softwood (spruce) and a hardwood (maple), in L and radial (R) directions, in full adsorption from oven-dry state, full desorption from water-saturated state, and relative humidity (RH) loops without extreme conditioning. Measurements were made at conditions considered “at equilibrium” and some were monitored through time. Results indicated that tanδ was much more (×3) sensitive to EMC differences than E′/γ. R properties, especially tanδR, were much more (×2–3) sensitive than L properties – resulting in strong increase of anisotropy with increasing EMC. In L direction, differences due to EMC remained moderate compared to the natural variability of wood for E′/γ, while for tanδ the EMC-induced changes were at least equal to natural variability in high-grade spruce. Vibrational properties did exhibit a hysteresis as a function of RH, but very little hysteresis as a function of EMC. The tanδ-EMC relation strongly depended on the actual time of stabilisation after reaching EMC. A related paper will address the transient, out of equilibrium effects of changing moisture conditions on the vibrational properties of wood.


Corresponding author: Iris Brémaud, Wood Team, LMGC, CNRS, Université de Montpellier, F34090 Montpellier, France, E-mail:

Funding source: Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement

Acknowledgments and research funding

The first author initiated experiments for this work during the last months of 2012 at the end of a Post-Doc at Wood Laboratory of Empa, Switzerland. The final research was completed at CNRS, LMGC, France. Preliminary parts benefitted from a Marie Curie Fellowship, and thanks are due to the kind support of F.W.M.R. Schwarze, R. Widmann, M. Heeb and D. Heer. The final research benefited from the funding of CNRS and of Région Languedoc-Roussillon, and from access to the experimental facilities of BioWooEB research unit in CIRAD, Montpellier, France, where the kind support of D. Guibal, J. Gérard and P. Langbour is greatly acknowledged.

  1. Author contribution: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.

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Received: 2020-01-23
Accepted: 2020-07-16
Published Online: 2020-09-18
Published in Print: 2021-04-27

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