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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2006

Ultrastructural features affecting mechanical properties of wood fibres

R. Cristian Neagu, Gamstedt Kristofer, Bardage Stig, Mikael Lindström


The purpose of this review is to re-examine some of the existing knowledge on the ultrastructure of softwood fibres and modelling of the hygroelastic properties of these fibres. The motivation is that the ultrastructure of wood fibres has a strong influence on fibre properties such as stiffness and hygroexpansion. This structure??property relationship can be modelled with, for instance, composite mechanics to assess the influence of ultrastructure on the fibre properties that in turn control the engineering properties of wood fibre composites and other wood-based materials. Comprehensive information about the ultrastructure is presented that can be useful in modelling the hygroelastic behaviour of wood fibres. Many attempts to model ultrastructure??property relationships that have been carried out over the years are reviewed. Even though models suffer from limiting approximations at some level, they have been useful in revealing valuable insights that can help to clarify experimentally determined behaviour of wood fibres. Still, many modelling approaches in the literature are of limited applicability, not the least when it comes to geometry of the fibre structure. Therefore, an example of finite element modelling of geometrically well-characterized fibres is given. This approach is shown to be useful to asses the influence of the commonly neglected irregular shape on elastic behaviour and stress state in wood fibres. Comparison is also made with an analytical model which assumes cylindrical fibre shape. Predictions of the elastic properties made with analytical modelling of cylindrical fibres and with finite element modelling of geometrically characterized fibres are in concert, but the stress state and failure predictions only show qualitative similarity. It can be concluded that calculations on fibres with the irregular and more realistic geometry combined with experiments on single fibres are necessary for a better and more quantitative understanding of the hygroelastic behaviour and particularly failure of wood fibres. It is hoped that this paper can provide a foundation and an inspiration for modelling, in combination with experiments and microscopy, for better predictions of the mechanical behaviour of wood fibres and wood fibre composites. E´

Published in

Wood Material Science and Engineering
2006, volume: 1, pages: 146-170
Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Authors' information

Bardage, Stig
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Forest economy
Mikael, Lindström
Gamstedt, Kristofer
R. Cristian, Neagu

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

URI (permanent link to this page)