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Characterization of the Mechanical Performance in Compression Perpendicular to the Grain of Insect-Deteriorated Timber

1
Civil Engineering Department, Institute for Sustainability and Innovation in Structural Engineering, University of Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
2
Structures Department, National Laboratory for Civil Engineering, 1700-066 Lisboa, Portugal
3
Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Azorean Biodiversity Group and University of the Azores, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Buildings 2020, 10(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings10010014
Received: 19 December 2019 / Revised: 11 January 2020 / Accepted: 14 January 2020 / Published: 19 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Structural Assessment of Timber Structures)
Among biological agents, insect attacks may cause severe degradation of timber structures in the service life of buildings which leads to lower mechanical performance and, thus, maintenance problems over time. Additionally, compression perpendicular to the grain always features a weak spot with respect to the long-term mechanical performance of timber members and joints. In the present work, the respective strength and elastic modulus were thus investigated for insect deteriorated wood. Following a standardized geometry, small samples degraded by anobiids were extracted from beams made of sweet chestnut wood (Castanea sativa Mill.) that were removed from service. Visual assessment of the external wood surfaces was then performed to identify areas infested by insects. Afterwards, destructive monotonic compression tests were carried out perpendicularly to the grain on the damaged area to determine the loss of compressive strength and elastic modulus. The experimental results showed that the loss of compressive strength and elastic modulus might be linearly correlated to the wood density loss for small samples infested by insects. Nonetheless, future work should focus on determining accurately the density loss in the insect-deteriorated part through non- or semi-destructive tests, in order to establish stronger relationships with the mechanical properties loss investigated. View Full-Text
Keywords: timber; insect wood deterioration; compression; destructive tests timber; insect wood deterioration; compression; destructive tests
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MDPI and ACS Style

Verbist, M.; Branco, J.M.; Nunes, L. Characterization of the Mechanical Performance in Compression Perpendicular to the Grain of Insect-Deteriorated Timber. Buildings 2020, 10, 14.

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