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ENGR 3360 Section 3 Mechanics of Materials Lab

Lab #2: Wood Lab
March 12, 2008 Prepared By:

Kevin Chollman
Petroleum Engineering Montana Tech AND

Jason Helland
General Engineering Montana Tech

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Abstract: The wood lab is designed to test the strength of wood under compression and bending. This is important as wood makes up most of our buildings and various everyday items. Wood’s strength is an important aspect in any engineering design. Wooden tripods were built using a variety of fasteners (common nail, ring shank nail, screws, and wood glue) and the strength of the wood, as well as the fasteners, was tested with a 30K Tinius Olsen machine. Aside from the wooden tripods, solid wood columns, solid wood beams, and laminated wood beams were constructed and tested. The compressive strength of the solid wood columns was found as well as the bending stress of both types of wooden beams. Failure modes of the wood was found through visual inspection of each wood specimen and demonstrated through either stress vs. strain plots or force applied vs. deflection plots. Through these plots and test results, different properties of the wood samples were calculated and compared to known theoretical values. These results will provide a basis of understanding of wood properties and strengths.

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Table of Contents: Abstract ______________________________________________________________________2 Table of Contents _______________________________________________________________3 Figures, Equations, and Table List _________________________________________________4 Introduction ___________________________________________________________________5 Background ___________________________________________________________________5 Wood Preparation ________________________________________________________6 Equations _______________________________________________________________7 Experimental Results ____________________________________________________________8 Wood Type ______________________________________________________________8 Common Nail Tripod Results _______________________________________________8 Ring Shank Nail Tripod Results _____________________________________________9 Screwed Tripod Results ___________________________________________________10 Glued Along Grain Results ________________________________________________11 Glued Perpendicular to Grain Results ________________________________________12 Glued Tripod Comparison _________________________________________________13 Coarse Grained Column Results ____________________________________________13 Fine Grained Column Results ______________________________________________15 White Oak Column Results ________________________________________________17 Solid Beam Results ______________________________________________________18 Laminated .25” Beam Results ______________________________________________20 Laminated .375” Beam Results _____________________________________________22 Laminated .5” Beam Results _______________________________________________23 Laminated Beam Comparison ______________________________________________25 Conclusion ___________________________________________________________________27 References ___________________________________________________________________29

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Figures, Equations, and Tables Figure 1. Pre-Fastened Tripod _____________________________________________________6 Figure 2. Laminated Beam Being Glued _____________________________________________6 Equation 1. Stress _______________________________________________________________7 Equation 2. Strain _______________________________________________________________7 Equation 3. Modulus of Elasticity __________________________________________________7 Table I. Density Data ____________________________________________________________8 Figure 3. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Common Nail Tripods _______________________________8 Figure 4. Common Nail Tripod After Test ___________________________________________8 Figure 5. Common Nail Tripod “Cut Away” __________________________________________9 Figure 6. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Ring Shank Nail Tripods______________________________9 Figure 7. Ring Shank Nail Tripod Failure___________________________________________10 Figure 8. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Screwed Tripods___________________________________10 Figure 9. Screwed Tripod Failure__________________________________________________11 Figure 10. Stress vs. Strain Plot of Glued Tripods Along the Grain_______________________11 Figure 11. Glued Along Grain Tripod Failure________________________________________12 Figure 12. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Glued Against the Grain Tripod______________________12 Figure 13. Tripod 8 Failure_______________________________________________________13 _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ Figure 14. Tripod 9 Failure_______________________________________________________13 Figure 15. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Coarse Grained Columns____________________________14 Table II. Coarse-Grained Column Results___________________________________________14 Figure 16. Column 1 Failure______________________________________________________15 _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ Figure 17. Column 3 Failure______________________________________________________15 Figure 18. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Fine-Grained Columns______________________________15 Table III. Fine-Grained Column Results____________________________________________16 Figure 19. Column 2 Failure______________________________________________________16 _______________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________16 _______________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ Figure 20. Column 4 Failure______________________________________________________16 Figure 21. Stress vs. Strain Plot for White Oak Columns_______________________________17 Figure 22. White Oak Failure W/O Hole____________________________________________17 _______________________________________________________________________________ Figure 23. White Oak Failure W/ Hole______________________________________________17 Table IV. White Oak Column Results______________________________________________18 Figure 24. Force Diagram of Beam Test____________________________________________18 Figure 25. Force vs. Position Plot for Solid Beams____________________________________19 _______________________________________________________________________________ Table V. Solid Beam Data_______________________________________________________19

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Figure 26. Solid Beam Failure____________________________________________________20 Figure 27. Force vs. Position Plot for .25” Laminated Beams____________________________20 Table VI. .25” Laminated Beam Data ______________________________________________21 Figure 28. Horizontal .25” Laminated Failure________________________________________22 Figure 29. Vertical .25” Laminated Failure__________________________________________22 Figure 30. Force vs. Position Plot for .375” Laminated Beam____________________________22 Table VII. .375” Laminated Beam Data_____________________________________________23 Figure 31. Force vs. Position Plot for .5” Laminated Beams_____________________________24 Table VIII. .5” Laminated Beam Data ______________________________________________25 Table IX. Laminated Beam Comparison____________________________________________26 Introduction: Background: Wood is used in a plethora of types of construction--from buildings, furniture, and weapons to vehicles, tools, and utensils. Along with the various uses of wood, there are plenty of different types of wood to use depending on the type of application. Wood shows considerable strength in compression, tension, and bending; but wood also is subject to many types of defects such as knots, warps and checks, and holes. Because of these defects--most of which you may not even know exist as they could be inside the wood and you cannot see them--great care must be taken with wood projects. Below is text referencing the different types of wood and fastening systems that were tested in this lab. The wood pieces were tested with a 30K Tinius Olsen machine that records the test data such as force exerted, time, and position (deflection of the test piece). This data can then be used to calculate the stress and strain for each test that allows analysis to find Young’s Modulus and yield/break points for the test pieces. The purpose of this lab was to test various types of fasteners (common nails, ring shank nails, screws, glued along the grain, glued against the grain) and how well they “held” for five pairs of wood “tripods.” Tripods consist of three 1.5” W x .75” T x 5” L wood pieces that are fastened together with the different fasteners. The middle piece--the trunk--is offset by one inch from the outer two pieces. The trunk is the wood piece that has the force exerted on it while the fasteners try to hold the tripod together. Along with the five pairs of tripods, the lab group made three pairs of laminated wood beams. These samples were made with different thicknesses of plywood but were all 24” long. Various numbers of these plywood pieces (different number of pieces depending on the thickness of the pieces) were glued together to form the laminated wood beams. Pairs were made in order to test the laminated wood beams parallel to the glued joints and perpendicular to the glued joints. Performing a strengths analysis in this way allows a better understanding of how laminated wood beams can hold up in different conditions. To contrast the strength of laminated wood beams, solid wood beams were also tested. These pieces were also 24” long but were 1.5” in width and thickness. Only one pair of solid

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wood beams were tested as they did not require any fastening system. The instructor provided small wood columns (roughly 1.5” in width and thickness and 6” long) to test. These wood columns were tested in compression on the small area of the wood (the type of compression that a building column would be in) to show how strong they are. A piece of white oak was also tested (originally one large piece of 13” L x 1 1/16” T x 2 3/4” W and was cut into two pieces for testing). The white oak showed remarkable compressive strength. This lab will show which fastening system provides the best support--either common nails, ring shank nails, screws, or glue along or against the grain. It will also show whether a laminated beam with thicker or thinner glued sections is stronger as well as the strength of solid wooden beams. These results should give a clearer understanding--and optimism--of the strength of wood that can be used in construction projects. Wood Preparation: In order to prepare the wood samples for the tripods, approximately 1.5” W x .75” T x 5” L wood pieces were cut with a power saw. These pieces were then marked with lines 1 ¾” from the bottom and ¾” from the top. Other lines were drawn 3/8” from the outer edges. The intersections of these lines gave approximate places to nail or screw the pieces (offsetting them either above or below the lines). Figure 1 shows a tripod ready to be fastened.

Figure 1. Pre-Fastened Tripod Figure 1 shows the four lines and intersections that give approximate locations of where to fasten the tripod. The leftmost fasteners will be placed slightly below the intersections and the rightmost fasteners will be places slightly above the intersections. Along with the 10 wood tripod samples, six laminated wood beams were constructed-three pairs, each of which having different thicknesses of plywood. Plywood pieces 24” long and 1.5” wide were cut for each sample (one pair was .5” thick, one pair was .375” thick, one pair was .25” thick). The plywood was then glued together as shown in Figure 2.

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Figure 2. Laminated Beam Being Glued All of the glued wood tripods and laminated wood beams were then clamped and allowed to dry for one day before the clamps were removed to ensure quality drying. Equations: Stress is equal to force divided by area. The area in the tripod tests is taken to be the trunk top that had the compressive force exerted on it (.75” x 1.5”). The same plane is used for the columns (although each had a different planar area, unlike the tripods). (1)

Stress =

F[lb f ] F = A width * thickness[in 2 ]

Strain is the amount of deflection divided by the total length. Using the test data, we calculated the strain by the position divided by length--assumed to be six inches for a tripod and varies for each column. (2)
Strain = d Position [in] = Length Length [in]

In order to calculate the modulus of elasticity of the wooden beams (in the straight line portion of the data), as well as the maximum theoretical deflection, the following formula was utilized: (3)
E= P * L3 48 * I *dmax

where: E = modulus of elasticity of the beam (psi) P = force applied at the yield point (lbf) L = total length of the beam (in) I = moment of inertia of the beam (in4) δ max = deflection at P (in)

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Experimental Results: Wood Type: In order to complete this lab, a type of wood for the samples had to be determined. Average density of all the wood was determined and then a specific gravity of the wood was found. (See Table I.) Type of Sample Wood Beams Laminated Beams Wood Columns TABLE I. Density Data Average Density (lb/ft3) 22.57 31.86 20.28 Specific Gravity .36 .33

This data shows that we could be using sugar pine (specific gravity of .34); hence, sugar pine data was used in all theoretical calculations (including the plywood samples whose density is higher due to the fact that it is plywood and is glued, meaning that it is not the same type of wood throughout the sample). Common Nail Tripod Results: The common nail is a widely used fastener in construction projects and everyday household projects. The common nail was also the hardest to fasten a wood tripod as their shaft diameter was greater than the other fasteners and the wood split on nearly every sample. The average stress on a common nail tripod was calculated to be 2016.5 psi. This stress is greater than either the ring shank tripod and the screwed tripod averages. Results from the two tests were used to calculate the stress and strain (Equations 1 and 2). These results were plotted on Figure 3.

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Stress vs Strain
2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 Stress 800 600 400 200 0 0 0.02 0.04 Tripod 5 Com on Nail m 0.06 Strain Tripod 10 Com on Nail m 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14

Figure 3. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Common Nail Tripods Figure 3 shows that Tripod 5 was able to undergo approximately 350 psi more stress than Tripod 10. This could be due to a minor crack in Tripod 10 that we may have been unaware prior to testing. However, Tripod 10 was able to hold the stress for a much longer time than Tripod 5 and, as a result, ended up having a higher deflection. Figure 4 shows Tripod 5 after compression testing. From the outside, the tripod does not seem to be very damaged, aside from the word “Monday” being so offset. Figure 5 shows the same tripod with part of the trunk wood ripped away to see how the nails were trying to shear. Even though the test on the tripod forced the tripod in compression, the nails were undergoing shear stress as they were trying to break. Figure 5 shows this as the nails are bent downward trying to shear them.

Figure 4. Common Nail Tripod After Test Ring Shank Nail Tripod Results:

Figure 5. Common Nail Tripod “Cut Away”

Ring Shank nails are smaller in shaft and head diameter than common nails and have small rings around the shaft that provide greater resistance to withdrawal than other nails. Some believe that ring shank nails hold more force than common nails; our tests showed opposite results. This could be because the ring shank provides a greater withdrawal resistance and not a

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greater shear resistance; or it could be due to the fact that the ring shank nails were much smaller in diameter and length than the common nails. The Stress vs. Strain curve for ring shank nails is shown in Figure 6.
Stress vs Stain
1200 1000 800 600 Stress 400 200 0 0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 Strain
Tripod 3 Ring Shank Tripod 4 Ring Shank






Figure 6. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Ring Shank Nail Tripods The maximum stress difference between Tripod 3 and Tripod 4 is approximately 200 psi; but the curves give very similar plot shapes. The initial straight-line zone (used to calculate the modulus of elasticity if this was a pure wood test) overlaps in such a way that the wood samples could be twins. However, Tripod 3 was able to hold less stress than Tripod 4. Figure 7 shows how the tripod failed.

Figure 7. Ring Shank Nail Tripod Failure Figure 7 shows how the ring shank nails bent and responded to the compressive load placed on the trunk. The shearing force on the nails seemed to be much greater than the common nails due to how much they bent. The nails created very oblong holes in both sides of the tripod pieces. However, besides the extreme bending and hole distortion no other failure modes can be found; that is, the wood did not dramatically fail. Screwed Tripod Results: Screws are widely used as they give extreme withdrawal resistance and can maintain good shearing and compressive loads. Tripod 1 gave a stress that was higher than either ring shank nail and common nail Tripod 10. Tripod 2 gave results on par with the other fasteners. The 10 of 29

Stress vs. Strain plot is shown in Figure 8.
Stress vs Strain

1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 Stress 600 400 200 0 0 0.02 0.04

Tripod 1 Screws

0.08 Strain





Tripod 2 Screws

Figure 8. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Screwed Tripods Tripod 1 shows considerably greater strength than Tripod 2. This could be due to a split that we were unaware of in Tripod 2. However, the shape of each curve in Figure 8 is of similar shape. The screw seems to withhold a lot of force before the wood would split. Then the screws would hold more force for a while until the wood began splitting more. It did not seem to be a very conventional Stress vs. Strain plot with the straight-line portion, the compressive strength, and the rupture point. Figure 9 shows a “cut-away” of a screwed tripod failure.

Figure 9. Screwed Tripod Failure Figure 9 shows that the screws underwent high shear stresses with the bottom-right screw shearing completely. The holes are very oblong and the wood is deformed in these holes. Besides the excessive shearing of the screws, there are no other visible signs of failure from the wood. Glued Along Grain Results: Common practice when gluing wood pieces together is to glue “along” the grain of each piece (so that the grain is parallel on all the pieces). By gluing it this way the wood is supposed to hold much greater stresses. Figure 10 shows the validity of this. 11 of 29

Stress vs Strain
6000 5000 4000 3000 Stress 2000 1000 0 0 0.005 0.01 0.015 0.02 0.025

Tripod 6 Glue with Grain Tripod 7 Glue with Grain

Figure 10. Stress vs. Strain Plot of Glued Tripods Along the Grain Figure 10 shows that Tripod 6 held much better than Tripod 7; this could be due to a less than exemplary gluing job on Tripod 7. Tripod 6 held approximately 2200 psi more than Tripod 7. However, each piece gave the same stress/strain curve shape and deflection for each piece was nearly equal. Looking at either Tripod 6 or Tripod 7 data, one can see that, comparatively, wood glue holds much stronger than any other fastening method. One reason for this is the shear stress problem with fasteners and bolts. Glue holds a much greater area than any bolt can and, thusly, can withstand a much greater shear stress than any bolt. Figure 11 shows a glued tripod after failure.

Figure 11. Glued Along Grain Tripod Failure As Figure 11 shows, the glued tripod did not experience any failure outside of the 1” offset trunk. The glue was able to withstand the shearing force and hold together. The top of the trunk underwent all of the compressive force and ended up failing. This failure was due solely to the wood properties and not the fastening system, unlike the different types of bolts. Glued Perpendicular to Grain Results:

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Common practice says that gluing against the grains provides weaker support amongst other problems in woodwork. Figure 12 shows the truth of this belief.
Stress vs Strain
2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 Stress 800 600 400 200 0 0 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 Strain Tripod 8 Glue Perpendicular Tripod 9 Glue perpendicular 0.1 0.12 0.14 0.16 0.18

Figure 12. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Glued Against the Grain Tripod Each Tripod (8 and 9) held almost the same amount of stress (approximately 1730 psi) before failing. When they did fail, they failed catastrophically as shown by the nearly straight line downward of stress. Figures 13 and 14 shows the catastrophic failure of these tripods.

Figure 13. Tripod 8 Failure

Figure 14. Tripod 9 Failure

As Figures 13 and 14 clearly demonstrate, gluing against the grains of wood is not recommended practice. In the case of Tripod 8 (Figure 13), besides the extreme level of compression of the trunk top, the left leg popped off completely and shot out of the test system. Tripod 9 (Figure 14) shows extreme compression of the trunk top (almost to the top of the legs) before splitting from the right leg completely and damaging the left leg bottom. Both are cases of catastrophic failure. Glued Tripod Comparison:

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As shows above in contrasting Figure 11 with Figures 13 and 14, gluing against the grains results in catastrophic failure that would cause extreme damage in any project. Comparing Figure 10 with Figure 12 we see that gluing along the grains provides considerably greater strength than gluing against the grains does and results in far less failure and damage. Coarse Grained Column Results: Columns 1 and 3 were coarse-grained wood columns; however, Column 1 was cut parallel to the grains and Column 3 was cut perpendicular to the grains. Because of this, we see incredible variance in our results (such as the difference in methods of gluing). Figure 15 shows the Stress vs. Strain plot of these samples.
Stress vs Strain
6000 5000 4000 3000 Stress 2000 1000 0 0.000 0.020 0.040 0.060 Strain Column 1 Parallel coarse Column 2 Perpendicular coarse 0.080 0.100 0.120

Figure 15. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Coarse Grained Columns Figure 15 shows how a column cut parallel to the grains can withstand magnitudes more stress than a column cut perpendicular to the grains. These coarse-grained samples have incredibly different values for their Yield Stress, Maximum Strength, Modulus of Elasticity, and their Strength to Weight Ratio (see Table II). This difference is solely due to the fact that one was crushed parallel to grains and one perpendicular. TABLE II. Coarse-Grained Column Results COLUMN 1 -- Parallel to Grain Ultimate Strength = 5,610 Yield strength = 5,000 Modulus of Elasticity = 468,915 Strength to weight ratio = 27,719 COLUMN 3 -- Perpendicular to Grains Ultimate Strength = 713 Yield strength = 500 Modulus of Elasticity = 53,711 Strength to weight ratio = 3,599

psi psi psi lbf/lbm psi psi psi lbf/lbm

The results shown in Table I1 show that when crushed parallel to the grains the strength 14 of 29

is about 5000 psi greater and Yield Strength is a factor of 10 greater. The Modulus of Elasticity also varied by almost a factor of 10 between the samples. We determined--through measurement of all columns--that the average density was 20.28 lb/ft3. This gives a specific gravity (when compared to water at 62.4 lb/ft3) of approximately .33. This specific gravity tells us that we probably have sugar pine wood. Sugar Pine has a Modulus of Elasticity of about 1.19 X106 psi. Column 1 gave a Modulus of Elasticy (the slope of the straight line portion of the Stress/Strain plot) of 468,915 psi, less than half that of the published value. All of out subsequent results also vary considerably from the theoretical value of modulus of elasticity. However, compression test data shows that when testing parallel to the grains, a strength of about 4,460 psi should be seen for dry samples (as ours were). Data also says that for a perpendicular test we shold see strength around 500 psi. Both of these results are accurate with those found in Table II. Figures 16 and 17 shows failure of the two columns.

Figure 16. Column 1 Failure

Figure 17. Column 3 Failure

Figures 16 and 17 show the variance in parallel and perpendicular grain strength. There were no flaws in our samples. Column 1 cracked along a grain and bent which caused more splitting and failure. Column 3 was compressed and broken at the top catastrophically. The entire column was tilted until all of the force was going through one bottom edge. These pictures show how the above data in Table I may not prove to be entirely accurate simply based on the orientation during compression. Fine Grained Column Results: Columns 2 and 4 were fine-grained columns. Column 2 was broken perpendicular to the grain, and Column 4 was broken parallel to the grain. Figure 18 shows the Stress vs. Strain plot of the test data.

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Stress vs. Strain
5000 4500 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 Stress (psi) 1500 1000 500 0 0.00E+00 2.00E-02


6.00E-02 8.00E-02

1.00E-01 1.20E-01 Strain (in/in)





Column 2 Perpendicular Fine

Column 4 Parallel Fine

Figure 18. Stress vs. Strain Plot for Fine-Grained Columns Figure 18 shows how fine-grained columns, like coarse-grained columns, can withstand magnitudes greater of stress when cut parallel to the grains rather than perpendicular. However, when they are cut parallel they fail much faster than when cut perpendicular. Table III shows the differences in strengths for the two columns. TABLE III. Fine-Grained Column Results Column 2 -- Perpendicular to Grains Ultimate Strength = 369 Yield Strength = 300 Modulus of Elasticity = 10,346 Strength to weight ratio = 2,097 Column 4 -- Parallel to Grains Ultimate Strength = 4,578 Yield Strength = 4,300 Modulus of Elasticity = 410,496 Strength to weight ratio = 23,119

psi psi psi lbf/lbm psi psi psi lbf/lbm

When compared to the theoretical value of Module of Elasticity, the fine-grained results don’t get any better than the coarse-grained results. The column cut parallel to the grain’s E value is still less than half that of the theoretical value. However, when compared to compression test theoretical data (4,460 psi for parallel and 500 psi for perpendicular) our results are in the correct range and show accurate testing. Comparing the two columns we see how much stronger wood is when compressed parallel to the grain. Contrasting these results with those of Table II, we see that the columns cut parallel (1 and 4) hold about the same stress; and the columns cut perpendicular (2 and 3) hold different stresses. Column 2 (finegrained) holds about half that of the coarse-grained sample. This could be due to a split in the wood in Column 2 along the bottom (See Figure 19 and 20 for failure.) Fine-grained columns also have more cracks that could allow more shear stress.

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Figure 19. Column 2 Failure

Figure 20. Column 4 Failure

Figure 19 shows that Column 2 (perpendicular to grain) compressed and bowed outward. It then split along the bottom, which led to its small strength. Figure 20 shows that Column 4 (parallel to grain) merely split along a couple of grains and did not have near the amount of failure that occurred in Column 2. White Oak Column Results: Two columns of white oak were given to us to test. These pieces showed incredible strength and remarkable results. Figure 21 shows the Stress vs. Strain plot for the two white oak columns.
Stress vs Strain
12000 10000 8000 6000 Stress 4000 2000 0 0.000 0.020 0.040 0.060
Oak column with hole

0.080 Strain





Oak column

Figure 21. Stress vs. Strain Plot for White Oak Columns Figure 21 shows how strong the two white oak columns were. One of the columns had a hole in it and showed less strength (although still greater than any other column) than the other white oak column. The second white oak column almost maxed out the Tinius Olsen machine as it had nearly 28,000 pounds of force exerted on it. The column without a hole (Figure 22) also had remarkable failure/repair. It failed and sheared before catching and fusing together again. See Figures 22 and 23 for examples.

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Figure 22. White Oak Failure W/O Hole

Figure 23. White Oak Failure W/ Hole

Figures 22 and 23 show how different the two different modes of failure were. When the white oak had a hole, the wood split at the hole and was catastrophic--the entire piece ruptured. Without a hole, the white oak sheared along an oblique axis before catching and re-fusing with itself to maintain a level of around 15,000 lbf. The results from the white oak test are shown below in Table IV. TABLE IV. White Oak Column Results Column W/ Hole Ultimate Strength = 6,207 Yield Strength = 5,000 Modulus of Elasticity = 674,374 Strength to weight ratio = 14,850 Column W/O Hole Ultimate Strength = 9,594 Yield Strength = 7,500 Modulus of Elasticity = 731,167 Strength to weight ratio = 22,952

psi psi psi lbm/lbf psi psi psi lbm/lbf

Table IV shows just how strong the white oak is. During a compression test, white oak parallel to the grain (as our test was) should have a strength of around 3,560 psi with some water content, or about 7,440 psi dry. Our white oak test columns were dry and give an average strength of 7,900 psi, which is in the range of testing approximation and about what the theoretical value is (just a little higher). With a hole through one white oak column, it had an ultimate strength of over 6,200 psi and a modulus of elasticity of over 674,000 psi. Without a hole, the ultimate strength grew to over 9,500 psi with a modulus of elasticity of over 731,000 psi. This shows that, compared to the regular sugar pine columns, that white oak is considerable stronger under compressive forces. Solid Beam Results: Solid sugar pine beams measuring about 24” long and roughly 1.5” w X 1.5” thick were 18 of 29

provided to test. The solid beams were placed in a holder that provided support over an 18” length with the Tinius Olsen testing apparatus compressive force directly in the center (9” from supports). (See Figure 24 for diagram.) P 24” total length wood beam 18” Figure 24. Force Diagram of Beam Test A stress vs. strain curve was not plotted for any beams; instead, a force vs. position curve was plotted. The plotted data was the data given by the test apparatus. The data for both of the solid beams is plotted in Figure 25 along with two theoretical performance curves.
Force vs. Position
1400 1200 1000 800 600 Force (lbf) 400 200 0 0 0.1 0.2 Solid 1 Solid 1 THEORY 0.3 Position (in) Solid 2 Solid 2 THEORY 0.4 0.5 0.6

Figure 25. Force vs. Position Plot for Solid Beams As Figure 25 shows, both beams failed at almost exactly the same amount of deflection (approximately .43 inches). The failures were dramatic and quick. The two theoretical performance curves were calculated by Equation 3 using the modulus of elasticity of sugar pine (1.19 X 106 psi) and the actual applied force. These theoretical curves show that the beams were able to deflect and bend more; so the modulus of elasticity of the two solid beams was far less than the theoretical value. (See TABLE V for solid beam data.) TABLE V. Solid Beam Data THEORETICAL SUGAR PINE E = 1.19E+06 Max Parallel Stress = 4460 SOLID 1 Max Force = 1,248 Max Moment = 11,234

psi psi lbf lbf-in

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Yield Point = Moment of Inertia = Max Bending Stress = Max Deflection = E= SOLID 2 Max Force = Max Moment = Yield Point = Moment of Inertia = Max Bending Stress = Max Deflection = E=

1,100 0.3766 22,366 0.36462 973,385 860.93 7,748 600 0.4046 14,419 0.184203 978,155

lbf in4 psi in psi lbf lbf-in lbf in4 psi in psi

Table V shows all of the theoretical data for sugar pine and all of the calculated data for the two solid beams. Comparing the calculated modulus of elasticity of Solid 1 and Solid 2 to theoretical sugar pine E value (1.19E6 psi) we see that we are approximately 250,000 psi less and approximately 500,000 psi less for Solid 2. However, we also see that the maximum force on either beam is considerably less than the maximum parallel stress of sugar pine. The max deflection is at the yield point (to calculate a correct E value). The difference in strength could be due to knots in the wood sample, improper placement of the wood, improperly securing the beam, having a different type of wood than sugar pine, among other types of human error. Figure 26 shows failure for one of the solid beams.

Figure 26. Solid Beam Failure The solid beams failed along the outer edge of the beam (the bottom edge below the “A” is visibly split). Figure 26 accurately shows how the beam bent (along the black line on the top edge). The failure was not visibly dramatic; but the failure was, looking at the Force vs. Position plot, very sudden and severe. Laminated .25” Beam Results: Three sets of laminated beams were constructed. To make the .25” laminated beams, six pieces of 24” long X 1.5” wide plywood were used. These pieces were glued together with wood glue and clamped together for a day to dry. Two samples of each laminated beam were made, one to crush horizontally and one to crush vertically. The test results are shown in Figure 27.

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Force vs. Position

900 800 700 600 500 400 300 Force (lbf) 200 100 0 0








Postiion (in) Horizontal .25 Theory Horizontal .25

Vertical .25 Theory Vertical .25

Figure 27. Force vs. Position Plot for .25” Laminated Beams Figure 27 shows the force/position data for the horizontal and vertical data as well as theoretical deflections based on Equation 3 and the true modulus of elasticity of sugar pine. Our data shows considerable deviation from the theoretical due to the primary fact that laminated plywood pieces are not made up of one type of wood. Rather, plywood is made up of many types of wood and is glued together. However, we also see that the vertical was able to withstand a little more force than the horizontal and that the horizontal beam was able to deflect about twice as much as the vertical beam. This difference in deflection is due to the fact that when bending the beam horizontally, the beam is allowed to bend and adjust to the force. When bending with the beam vertically, the beam is not allowed to bend much and will snap much more easily as there is no tolerance in bend when the beam is oriented vertically. Table VI shows the calculated data for the .25” laminated beams. TABLE VI. .25" Laminated Beam Data THEORETICAL SUGAR PINE E = 1.19E+06 Max Parallel Stress = 4460 Max Perpendicular Stress = 500 HORIZONTAL Max Force = 773.02 Max Moment = 6,957 Yield Point = 700 Moment of Inertia = 0.4633 Max Bending Stress = 12,305 Max Deflection = 0.27167 E= 579,147 VERTICAL Max Force = 813.53 Max Moment = 7,322 Yield Point = 600

psi psi psi lbf lbf-in lbf in4 psi in psi lbf lbf-in lbf

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Moment of Inertia = Max Bending Stress = Max Deflection = E=

0.4087 14,018 0.24044 865,521

in4 psi in psi

Table VI shows the theoretical sugar pine values for modulus of elasticity and maximum stresses under a compression test. A laminated beam, as out data shows, cannot hold as much as a solid beam could (compare values to Table V and we see that our results are a few hundred lbf less than solid beams). The data also shows us that laminated beams are weaker horizontally than vertically. This result is to be expected as the plywood pieces are glued horizontally while the vertical test is testing the capacity of the wood alone. However, the yield point for the vertical test is slightly lower than the horizontal test (but, you could almost assume the max force on the horizontal beam is the yield point as the data leading up is nearly straight, but starts bending slightly around 600 lbf). The modulus of elasticity of both beams was lower than that of pure sugar pine (as expected) but also vary considerably from one another due to their difference in deflections primarily. Figures 28 and 29 show failure for .25” laminated beams broken horizontally and vertically, respectfully.

Figure 28. Horizontal .25” Laminated Failure

Figure 29. Vertical .25” Laminated Failure

These figures show failure modes for horizontal and vertical laminated beams. Figure 28 shows how the horizontal beams simply split the glued joint and bent (see the large hole to the left of the crushing element). This bending also caused splitting on the bottom edge of the beam due to tension. Figure 29 shows how the vertical beam simply developed small cracks along the middle and failed. Vertical failure was not nearly as visually dramatic as horizontal failure. All subsequent laminated beams failed by the same modes, hence pictures of those beams are not shown in their sections. Laminated .375” Beam Results: Four pieces of .375” plywood were glued together to make a ..375” laminated beam. Two of these were made to test horizontally and vertically. Results of this test are shown in Figure 30.

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900 800 700 600 500 400 Force (lbf) 300 200 100 0 0 0.1

Force vs. Position


0.3 Position (in)



.375" Horizontal SUGAR PINE THEORY Horizontal

.375" Vertical SUGAR PINE THEORY Vertical

Figure 30. Force vs. Position Plot for .375” Laminated Beam Just as the last two beam force vs. position plots were, Figure 30 shows the test data and theoretical sugar pine data. The horizontal test gave very linear results, yet again, and was able to deflect more before failure. However, we see that the vertical beam was able to withstand force for a greater time than the horizontal beam. This could be due to the vertical beam cracking and splitting over a long period of time, whereas the horizontal beam had major failures. Table VII shows the calculated data for the .375” laminated beams. TABLE VII. .375" Laminated Beam Data THEORETICAL SUGAR PINE E = 1.19E+06 Max Parallel Stress = 4,460 Max Perpendicular Stress = 500 HORIZONTAL Max Force = 615.97 Max Moment = 5,544 Moment of Inertia = 0.4133 Yield Point = 550 Max Bending Stress = 10,466 Max Deflection = 0.33733 E= 479,263 VERTICAL Max Force = 767.44 Max Moment = 6,907 Yield Point = 720 Moment of Inertia = 0.4594 Max Bending Stress = 12,067 Max Deflection = 0.2629

psi psi psi lbf lbf-in in4 lbf psi in psi lbf lbf-in lbf in4 psi in

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Table VII shows the theoretical sugar pine values for modulus of elasticity and maximum stresses under a compression test as well as the calculated values of the .375” laminated beams. As Table VII shows, a laminated .375” beam of the same thickness cannot hold as much force as a .25” beam can. Also, the modulus of elasticity of the .375” laminated beams are still less than that of solid sugar pine (as expected), but aren’t as great at those of .25” beams. However, the . 375” beams were able to deflect more before plastic deformation would occur (E is no longer the slope of stress/strain curve). We also see, once again, that a laminated beam broken vertically is stronger than a horizontal beam; and, in this case, the vertical laminated beam was able to hold force for a longer time and deflect more than the .25” beam. The .375” laminated beam also had less plywood pieces holding it together, which could attribute to its weaker properties. Laminated .5” Beam Results: Three pieces of .5” thick plywood were glued together to form the .5” laminated beam. Two of these beams were made to test their strength under bending conditions. These results are shown in Figure 31.
800 700 600 500 400 Force (lbf) 300 200 100 0 0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4 0.45 0.5 Position (in)
.5" Horizontal SUGAR PINE THEORY Horizontal .5" Vertical SUGAR PINE THEORY Vertical

Force vs. Position

Figure 31. Force vs. Position Plot for .5” Laminated Beams Figure 31 shows the theoretical sugar pine values for the given stress from Equation 3. The .5” beams, when broken either horizontally or vertically, both deflected approximately the same amount before failing (around .31 inches). Both beams behaved very similarly in this test and deflected almost the same amount (with the horizontal able to deflect more in this test). These results are slightly different than those of the prior tests; however, the vertical still was able to hold more force than the horizontal beam could. All calculated data is shown in Table VIII.

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TABLE VIII. .5" Laminated Beam Results THEORETICAL SUGAR PINE E = 1.19E+06 psi Max Parallel Stress = 4,460 psi Max Perpendicular Stress = 500 psi HORIZONTAL Max Force = 584.59 lbf Max Moment = 5,261 lbf-in Yield Point = 462 lbf Moment of Inertia = 0.4684 in4 Max Bending Stress = 9,109 psi Max Deflection = 0.20876 in E= 574,023 psi VERTICAL Max Force = 674.59 lbf Max Moment = 6,071 lbf-in Yield Point = 625 lbf Moment of Inertia = 0.4091 in4 Max Bending Stress = 11,596 psi Max Deflection = 0.23487 in E= 790,264 psi Table VIII shows the theoretical sugar pine values and, once again the laminated beams give a modulus of elasticity that is less than the theoretical (as expected). However, the E values for the .5” beam are greater than those for the .375” beam and very slightly less than the .25” beams. This provides us with no good correlation for calculating E based on different types of

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plywood (amount of pieces glued together to get the same overall thickness). The .5” laminated beam was not able to hold as much for as either previous laminated beam as there is less plywood pieces and less glued joints in the .5” sample. Overall, the data provides very similar results and allows some basic conclusions about the data. Laminated Beam Comparison: Table IX shows the modulus of elasticity of every laminated beam (horizontal and vertical) as well as the max force that each could hold. It also shows the average value for each criteria.

TABLE IX. Laminated Beam Comparison .25" Beam Horizontal Vertical E (psi) 579,147 865,521 Max Force (lbf) 773.02 813.53 .375" Beam E (psi) 479,263 724,368 Max Force (lbf) 615.97 767.44 .5" Beam E (psi) 574,023 790,264 Max Force (lbf) 584.59 674.59 AVERAGE E (psi) 544,144 793,384 Max Force (lbf) 657.86 751.85 The above table shows how similar the horizontal values are to each other as well as the vertical values (for modulus of elasticity). It also shows how the maximum force decreased with the number of plywood pieces per beam (as there is less glued area to hold the beam together). The table also aptly shows how much stronger the vertical orientation is when compared to horizontal laminated beam orientation.

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Conclusion: Strength is one of the most important properties of wood and invaluable in any engineering design. Through this lab, we were able to determine different strengths, as well as other properties, of each wood sample tested. The wood tripods underwent a compression test that not only compressed the wood sample but also tried to shear the fasteners. Because of these two different types of stresses, we were unable to calculate any true values of the materials. However, through multiple assumptions, we could plot a Stress vs. Strain diagram of each tripod’s test data. This plot gave us the ultimate stress that any tripod could endure and gave a reference to compare the different types of fasteners to. According to our results, the glued tripods performed substantially better than any other fastening method. Our conclusion regarding this is the fact that wood glue covers much more area than any bolt fastener could. By utilizing a larger area, Equation 1 (see Introduction) shows that more force has to be applied to achieve the same amount of stress that a smaller force over a smaller area has. In other words, the stress transfer through the trunk to the legs is greater when using glue as there is more area to transfer the stress. When fastened with a bolt, the legs cannot receive more stress as the area of a bolt is much less than the area of the glue; so the bolts shear. Glue is the strongest fastening system from our test data. The solid wood columns underwent a compression test similar to the wood tripods. However, due to the simple fact that these pieces were solid and not fastened together, the calculations were simpler and easier--since we didn’t have to worry about the shearing of the bolts. Two fine-grained samples and two coarse-grained samples were tested along with two white oak columns. According to our results, the coarse-grained wood columns are stronger than the finegrained columns. This is opposite to what we initially believed. Coarse-grained, we thought,

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would split easier. And while the coarse-grained samples did have more catastrophic visual failure, they were still able to hold more force than the fine-grained columns. The white oak pieces, even with a major defect, were extraordinarily stronger than either the fine-grained or the coarse-grained solid pieces. White oak is known as a very strong wood and our test simply proved that (the piece without a hole almost maxed out the test apparatus). The wood beams also gave some interesting results. The solid wood beams were placed under bending stress until they failed. These failures happened quickly and dramatically (according to the data) but not as visually dramatic. The solid wood beams split along the bottom edge as it was under tension and cracked easily. These beams were primarily tested to compare to the laminated beams. Three different sets of laminated beams were constructed using plywood of these various thicknesses: .25”, .375”, and .5”. The .25” thick beams had six plywood sheets, the .375” thick beams had four plywood sheets, and the .5” thick beams had three plywood sheets. According to our results, the greater the amount of plywood sheets, the stronger the force one can apply to the laminated beam. This is due to the fact that the more sheets there is, the more glue there is. An interesting result from the laminated beam tests is that the laminated beams are stronger when bent vertically (that is, the plies and the force are in the same plane). Also, a modulus of elasticity was calculated from the test data for the laminated beams. These were compared to values of pure sugar pine. This comparison is invalid as plywood can be made from up to 70 different types of wood. However, the data shows that plywood laminated beams were unable to withstand the amount of force that a solid beam could. This could be due to human error in gluing, the fact that laminated beams could be weaker than solid wood beams, and that some of the plywood pieces had small gaps in between wood pieces within the plies. Through this lab, we found that glue is the strongest fastener for wood (but impractical in some applications and subject to environmental weather that will weaken the glue), that coarsegrained wood is stronger than fine-grained wood under compression, that white oak is extremely strong under compression compared to other woods, that laminated beams gain strength with the number of plies, and that laminated beams are not as strong as solid wood beams.

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References: Beer, F. P., Johnston, Jr., E. & DeWold, J. T. (2006). Mechanics of Materials (4th ed.). McGraw Hill. Green, D. W., Winandy, J. E. & Kretschmann, D. E. (2008). Chapter 4 - Mechanical Properties of Wood. Wood Background.pdf. Wieden, A. C. North American Hardwoods. Forest Service. Retrieved March 1, 2008, from

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