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International Journal of the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Technology of Wood

Editor-in-Chief: Faix, Oskar

Editorial Board: Daniel, Geoffrey / Militz, Holger / Rosenau, Thomas / Salmen, Lennart / Sixta, Herbert / Vuorinen, Tapani / Argyropoulos, Dimitris S. / Balakshin, Yu / Barnett, J. R. / Burgert, Ingo / Rio, Jose C. / Evans, Robert / Evtuguin, Dmitry V. / Frazier, Charles E. / Fukushima, Kazuhiko / Gindl-Altmutter, Wolfgang / Glasser, W. G. / Holmbom, Bjarne / Isogai, Akira / Kadla, John F. / Koch, Gerald / Lachenal, Dominique / Laine, Christiane / Mansfield, Shawn D. / Morrell, J.J. / Niemz, Peter / Potthast, Antje / Ragauskas, Arthur J. / Ralph, John / Rice, Robert W. / Salin, Jarl-Gunnar / Schmitt, Uwe / Schultz, Tor P. / Sipilä, Jussi / Takano, Toshiyuki / Tamminen, Tarja / Theliander, Hans / Welling, Johannes / Willför, Stefan / Yoshihara, Hiroshi

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Volume 71, Issue 4


Relations of density, polyethylene glycol treatment and moisture content with stiffness properties of Vasa oak samples

Alexey VorobyevORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5855-2260 / Gunnar Almkvist
  • Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7015, SE-750 07, Uppsala, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Nico P. van Dijk
  • Division of Applied Mechanics, Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Lagerhyddsv, 1 Box 534, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala SE-75121, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ E. Kristofer Gamstedt
  • Division of Applied Mechanics, Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Lagerhyddsv, 1 Box 534, Ångström Laboratory, Uppsala SE-75121, Sweden
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-02-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2016-0202


Treatment with polyethylene glycol (PEG) is the preferred method for the conservation of waterlogged archaeological wooden objects. However, PEG impregnation leads to softening and increased hygroscopicity of the material. The present study compiles experimental results concerning the full elastic properties of PEG impregnated archaeological wood from the Vasa ship in relation to its basic density, PEG content (PEGC) and moisture content (MC). The results show a correlation between a more porous microstructure and high PEGC, and consequently, higher MC. The PEG and moisture contribute to the mass of the wooden object as well as to the softening of the material, which are undesired properties in a larger load-carrying wooden structure. A compromise between the improved dimensional stability and degradation of mechanical properties should therefore be considered in the conservation of wooden objects treated with PEG.

Keywords: archaeological wood; basic density; computed tomography (CT); elastic constants; moisture content (MC); PEG impregnation; Quercus robur; Vasa ship


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About the article

Received: 2016-10-31

Accepted: 2017-01-12

Published Online: 2017-02-16

Published in Print: 2017-04-01

Citation Information: Holzforschung, Volume 71, Issue 4, Pages 327–335, ISSN (Online) 1437-434X, ISSN (Print) 0018-3830, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/hf-2016-0202.

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