An investigation of selected mechanical and physical properties of young, unseasoned and finger-jointed Eucalyptus grandis timber

Crafford, Philippus Lodewicus (2013-03)

Thesis (MScFor)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa is a timber scarce country that will most probably experience a shortage of structural timber in the near future. In this study the concept of using young finger‐jointed Eucalyptus grandis timber was evaluated for possible application in roof truss structures while the timber is still in the green, unseasoned state. 220 finger‐jointed boards of cross‐sectional dimension 48 x 73 mm and 36 x 111 mm timber, cut from 5‐18 year old Eucalyptus grandis trees were obtained from Limpopo province, South Africa. The boards were manufactured using a polyurethane (PU) adhesive at moisture content levels above fibre saturation point and no drying was performed. The objectives of this study were to determine various mechanical and physical properties of this finger‐jointed product. More specifically (1) to determine the strength and stiffness potential of the product in the wet and the dry condition, (2) to evaluate physical properties such as density, warp, checking and splitting, (3) to evaluate potential indicator properties to be used as structural grading parameters, and (4) to compare the flexural properties to the current SA pine resource and SANS structural grade requirements. The boards were divided into two groups of the same size, which constituted the wet and the dry samples. Each sample was further separated into six different groups for testing the different strength and stiffness properties. The dry group was stacked in a green‐house for nine weeks until equilibrium moisture content was reached. Afterwards selected physical properties such as warp, checking and splitting were assessed. Destructive testing was conducted on the boards and the results were used to determine various mechanical properties. Finally, each board was assessed for density and moisture content (MC) values. The study showed that the young finger‐jointed Eucalyptus grandis timber had very good flexural properties. Both mean modulus of elasticity (MOE) and modulus of rupture (MOR) 5th percentile strength values for wet and dry boards complied with the current SANS 10163‐1 (2003) requirements for grade S7.The values of tensile perpendicular to grain and compression perpendicular to grain strength did not conform to SANS requirements for grade S5. The other strength properties for the wet and dry groups complied with one of the three SANS structural grades. The 5 year old (48 x 73 mm) boards’ showed significantly higher levels of twist and checking compared to 11 year old boards of the same dimension. Only 46.3% of the finger‐jointed products conformed to the density requirements in SANS 1783‐2 (2004) for grade S7. There was a significant difference in density between the three age groups (5, 11 and 18 years) presented in this study. The variation in both MOE and MOR values of the fingerjointed product proved to be significantly lower in comparison to currently used SA pine sources. Based on the results from this study the concept of producing roof trusses from wet, unseasoned and finger‐jointed young Eucalyptus grandis timber has potential. However, additional research on a number of issues not covered in this study is still required for this product including full scale truss evaluations, proof grading, PU adhesive evaluation at elevated temperatures, nail plate load capacity, and the possible need for chemical treatment of the product against Lyctus beetles.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid Afrika is ‘n land wat waarskynlik ‘n tekort aan strukturele hout sal ervaar in die nabye toekoms. In hierdie studie word die gebruik van jong gevingerlasde Eucalyptus grandis hout vir die moontlike gebruik in dakstrukture, terwyl nat en ongedroog, ondersoek. 220 gevingerlasde planke van deursnit 48 x 73 mm en 36 x 111 mm gesaag van 5‐18 jaar‐oue Eucalyptus grandis bome en afkomstig van die Limpopo provinsie in Suid Afrika, is gebruik. Die produk is vervaardig met poli‐uretaan (PU) lym uit planke met vog inhouds vlakke bo veselversadigingspunt. Die doelwit van hierdie studie was om verskeie meganiese en fisiese eienskappe van die vingerlas produk vas te stel. Meer spesifiek (1) om die sterkte en modulus van elastisiteit (MOE) potensiaal van die vingerlas produk in die nat en droë toestand te analiseer, (2) om die fisiese eienskappe soos digtheid, vervorming, oppervlakbarse en spleting te ondersoek, (3) om potensiële graderingsparameters te evalueer, en (4) om die buigeienskappe van die produk te vergelyk met SA dennehout asook die SANS strukturele graad vereistes. Die planke is verdeel in twee groepe, ‘n nat groep en ‘n droë groep. Elke groep is verder verdeel in ses kleiner groepe soos buig, trek en drukmonsters. Die droë groep was in ‘n kweekhuis geplaas vir nege weke totdat veselversadigingspunt bereik is. Daarna is geselekteerde fisiese eienskappe soos vervorming, oppervlak barse en spleting gemeet. Destruktiewe toetsing is uitgevoer op die planke en die resultate was gebruik om verskeie meganiese eienskappe vas te stel. Laastens is elke plank se digtheid en voggehalte gemeet. Die studie het getoon dat die jong gevingerlasde Eucalyptus grandis hout goeie buigeienskappe het. Beide die gemiddelde MOE en buig sterkte 5de persentiel waardes van die nat en droë groep het voldoen aan die huidige SANS 10163‐1 (2003) vereistes vir graad S7. Die sterkte‐eienskappe van loodregte trekkrag en loodregte druk het nie die vereistes vir SANS graad S5 gemaak nie. Die ander sterkte‐eienskappe van die nat en droë groep het voldoen aan een van die drie SANS strukturele graadvereistes. Die 5 jaar‐oue (48 x 73 mm ) planke het beduidend hoër vlakke van draai‐trek en oppervlakbarste getoon as die 11 jaar‐oue planke van dieselfe dimensie. Slegs 46.3% van die vingerlas produk het voldoen aan digtheidsvereistes vir SANS graad S7. Daar was ‘n beduidende verskil in dightheid tussen die drie ouderdomsgroepe (5, 11 en 18 jaar). Die MOE en buigsterkte‐waardes van die Biligom produk het beduidend laer variasie as huidige SA denne houtbronne getoon. Die resultate verkry in die studie toon dat die konsep om dakkappe te vervaardig van nat, gevingerlasde jong Eucalyptus grandis hout die potensiaal het om suksesvol toegepas te word. Bykomende navorsing oor ‘n aantal faktore wat nie in hierdie studie ingesluit is nie word steeds benodig. Dit sluit in ‘n volskaalse dakkap evaluasie, proefgradering, PU lym evaluasie by hoë temperature, spykerplaat ladingskapasiteit en die moontlike noodsaaklikheid van chemiese behandeling van die produk teen Lyctus kewers, insluit.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80072
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