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A numerical study of the shape stability

of sawn timber subjected to moisture variation


Part 2: Simulation of drying board
S. Ormarsson, O. Dahlblom, H. Petersson
Abstract A theory for analysing the shape stability of sawn timber was
implemented in a nite element program. To illustrate the types of results that
can be obtained, the behaviour of a board during drying was simulated. The
simulation yields information about unfavourable deformations and stresses
during the drying process. To investigate factors that inuence drying
deformations, a parameter study was performed in which the inuence of
different constitutive models and different material parameters was studied.
In addition, the inuence of the spiral grain angle was examined.
Introduction
The characteristics of wood, including its material orientation, make the behaviour
of timber subjected to mechanical loading and to moisture variation highly
complex. It is difcult without the use of numerical simulations to predict the
deformations. Finite element simulations can be performed to investigate how
internal structure and material properties affect the shape stability in sawn timber.
To perform accurate simulation, it is essential to have a sufciently detailed de-
scription of the wood properties and their variation with position in the tree stem,
and also how the bres are oriented in the stem. The theory described in (Or-
marsson et al. 1998) is implemented here in the nite element program ABAQUS
(Hibbitt et al. 1995) and is applied in the simulation of a board during drying.
The board studied is 3 m long and 100 50 mm in cross section. The geom-
etry and pith location are shown in Fig. 1. The pith is assumed to be parallel to
Wood Science and Technology 33 (1999) 407423 Springer-Verlag 1999
Received 22 April 1997
S. Ormarsson, O. Dahlblom
Division of Structural Mechanics,
Lund Institute of Technology, Lund University,
Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
H. Petersson (&)
Department of Structural Mechanics,
Chalmers University of Technology,
SE-412 96 Goteborg, Sweden
The research presented in this paper is a part of the national
research programme in Sweden for wood physics and drying. It has
been supported nancially by the Research Foundation of Swedish
Sawmills and the Swedish Council for Forestry and Agricultural
Research.
407
the longitudinal direction of the board and the board to not be subjected to any
external support constraints. Displacements are only prescribed to avoid rigid
body motions. The element mesh of the board and its boundary conditions are
shown on the right side of Fig. 1. The arrows denote the nodal displacements,
which have been set to zero in the calculation. The board dries from a 27%
moisture content to a mean moisture content of 10.75%. The following is a brief
account of the assumptions made. For further details see Ormarsson (1995).
Material data
The material parameters used and assumed to be representative for spruce (Picea
abies), are listed in Table 1. The parameters are dened in Ormarsson et al.
(1998). Due to the limited experimental evidence available, some of the param-
eters were estimated on the basis of data from other species. It has been exper-
imentally observed that the longitudinal elastic modulus E
10
and the longitudinal
moisture elongation coefcient a
1
vary signicantly from pith to bark, see
Wormuth (1993) and Dahlblom et al. (1996). The variation in a cross section is
illustrated in Fig. 2. Based on these results, E
10
and a
1
are assumed to vary
linearly from pith to bark. Due to the lack of experimental data, the remaining
elastic strain parameters are assumed to be independent of distance from the pith.
These parameters are mainly based on experimental data from Siimes (1967),
Santaoja et al. (1991) and Hisada (1986). The parameters a
r
and a
t
are set to
Fig. 1. Geometry, element mesh and prescribed displacements of the board studied
Table 1. Material parameters used in the simulation (distance from the pith r in m)
Elastic strain E
l0
9700 + 100000r MPa E
r0
400 MPa E
t0
220 MPa
parameters E
lw
21000 MPa E
rw
2200 MPa E
tw
1300 MPa
G
lr0
400 MPa G
lt0
250 MPa G
rt0
25 MPa
G
lrw
1163 MPa G
ltw
122 MPa G
rtw
72 MPa
m
lr
0.35 m
lt
0.6 m
rt
0.55
Moisture-induced
strain parameters
a
1
0:0071 0:038r a
r
0:19 a
t
0:35
Mechano-sorption m
l0
0.1 10
)3
MPa
)1
m
r0
0.15 MPa
)1
m
r0
0.2 MPa
)1
strain parameters m
lr0
0.008 MPa
)1
m
lt0
0.008 MPa
)1
m
rt0
0.8 MPa
)1
l
lr
0:0 l
lt
0:0 l
rt
1:0
408
constant values due to the lack of experimental data on radial distribution. The
mechano-sorption parameters m
l0
, m
r0
etc. are assumed to be constant in the
timber log and to be independent of the moisture content. The values are based
on results presented by Santaoja et al. (1991) and Martensson (1992).
In the simulation, the material temperature T is assumed to be the same as the
reference temperature T
0
20 C, meaning that the temperature has no inuence
Fig. 2. Experimentally obtained variations in the longitudinal elastic modulus E
l
and the
longitudinal moisture shrinkage/swelling coefcient a
1
over the cross section of a board
409
on the material parameters. This results in a constant bre saturation point
of w
f
0.3. For a more detailed description of the material parameters see
Ormarsson et al. (1998).
On the basis of experimental evidence, see e.g. Mishiro and Booker (1988),
Harris (1989) and Thornqvist (1990), the radial distribution of the spiral grain
angle is assumed to be a linear function of the distance from the pith. The spiral
grain angle is said to be positive if the bre deviation from the pith direction
represents a positive rotation around the radial axis. This means that positive
deviation is to the left of the upper extremity of the longitudinal axis of the
growing tree, as viewed by an observer from the ground. According to a com-
monly used denition, see e.g. Harris (1989), this is called left-hand spiral grain.
The expression used for spiral grain is h 4 40r, where r is the distance from
the pith.
The conical angle is assumed to be constant for the board studied. The sign of
the conical angle follows the sign of the bre rotation around the tangential
coordinate axis. The direction of the longitudinal axis is dened as being positive
from the bottom to the top of the tree, which means that the conical angle will
normally be negative since the diameter normally decreases with the distance
from the bottom. The expression used for the conical angle is u 0:5

.
Moisture transport
In the present simulation, the board is assumed to be insulated on the ends and
moisture transport to be two-dimensional in the cross-section plane of the
boards. The study focuses on the modelling of deformation and stress develop-
ment. Moisture transport is assumed to be governed by the linear diffusion
relation
D
w
o
2
w
oy
2

o
2
w
oz
2

ow
ot
0 1
where D
w
is diffusivity and w is moisture content. In the simulation the param-
eters D
w
, w
0
and w
1
are chosen as D
w
7 10
)10
m
2
/s, w
0
0.27 and w
1
0.089.
Parameter w
0
represents the initial uniform moisture content in the board and w
1
the moisture content at the surface in contact with the environment. These values
were selected in order to achieve approximate agreement with the experimental
values for initial moisture content, for moisture content in the surface layer, and
for moisture content in the centre after 6 days of drying, as obtained by (Rosen-
kilde et al. 1996). The description of moisture distribution reects qualitatively
the conditions in a drying board. It should be noted, however, that in a detailed
simulation the nonlinearity and direction dependence of the moisture transport
in wood needs to be considered, see Claesson and Arfvidsson (1992), Perre et al.
(1993), Ranta-Maunus (1994).
In the nite element analysis performed, the moisture content history repre-
sented the input data for the deformation simulations. The moisture content is
prescribed in all the element nodes in accordance with Eq. (1). In Fig. 3 the
development of the average moisture content during the drying process in the
boards that were studied is shown.
The average moisture content is 27% at the beginning of the drying process,
decreasing to 10.75% at the end of drying. Since the surfaces of the boards dry
very quickly and the moisture content values for the integration points of the
elements are computed by linear interpolation based on the element node values,
410
the assumed average moisture content decreases very rapidly during the rst few
minutes of the drying process.
Computational results
The simulation yields information regarding how stress and deformation in the
board develop during the drying process. Deformation, stress and moisture content
of the board are shown in Fig. 4. Both undeformed and deformed element mesh are
shownfor the boardthere at four different times during the drying process. It should
be noted that the deformations displayed in this gure are shown at a scale factor
of 5. A contour plot in colour on the deformed element mesh, showing stresses in
the tangential direction, is presented. On the right hand side of the gure, a two-
dimensional contour plot of the moisture content of the board is shown in colour.
Red denotes high moisture content and blue low moisture content.
The most signicant deformations are the twist and cup deformations. Since
shrinkage is greater in the tangential than in the radial direction, considerable cup
deformation develops. This shrinkage difference, together with the spiral grain
angle, results in considerable twist deformation developing as well. Other pa-
rameters, such as the annual ring orientation, inuence the drying deformations
cf. Perstorper et al. (1995). This has been investigated in Ormarsson et al. (1998).
Figure 5 shows the development of twist, cup and bow deformations during the
drying process as a function of drying time. The results indicate each of the
deformation types to increase during drying, the rate of increase being greatest in
the early stages of the process. Since the average moisture content decreases very
quickly during the rst few minutes of drying, see Fig. 3, drying deformations
likewise develop very rapidly. Crook deformation is not shown in the gure since
it is very small, due to the vertical symmetry section of the board. Equations (2)
(5) have been used to calculate the different deformation types examined in the
simulation. The nodal displacements used to calculate the deformation are shown
in Fig. 6.
Twist: u
twist
arctana
t1
a
t2
=L
y
arctana
t3
a
t4
=L
y
2
Cup: a
cup
a
c1
a
c3
=2 a
c2
3
Bow: a
bow
a
b1
a
b3
=2 a
b2
4
Crook: a
crook
a
cr1
a
cr3
=2 a
cr2
5
Fig. 3. Development of the
weighted average of the
moisture content during the
drying process in the boards
studied
411
The sign of the cup, bow and crook deformation is positive if the mean value of
the end displacements is greater than the midpoint displacement (see Fig. 6).
The colour plot of the tangential stress component shown in Fig. 4 indicates
large tensile stresses to occur at the surface at the beginning of the drying process,
large compression stresses developing at the end of the drying process. Thus the
risk of crack initiation at the surface is greatest at the beginning of the drying
process. To illustrate in greater detail how stresses develop, stresses in the tan-
gential direction at two different positions are presented as a function of drying
time in Fig. 7. The large tensile stress at the surface at the beginning of the drying
process is due to the large moisture gradient (see Fig. 4). After about a day, the
surface stress has changed to one of compression. The latter increases as the
drying process progresses. Due to the large shrinkage at the surface, the stress r
t2
inside the board develops to a state of compression early in the process. After
about two days, when the board starts to dry in the centre, the stress r
t2
changes
to tensile stress, which increases during the drying process.
Fig. 4. Development of deformation, tangential stresses and moisture content in the board
during drying
412
Influence of the constitutive model
The simulation just described was based on the material model for wood de-
scribed in Ormarsson et al. (1998). In the following, the inuence which the
assumed modications of the material model exert on deformation and stress
Fig. 5. Development of the
twist, cup and bow
deformation during the
drying process
413
development during drying is examined. The total strain rate
_
e is assumed to be
the sum of the elastic strain rate
_
e
e
, the moisture strain rate
_
e
w
and the mechano-
sorptive strain rate
_
e
wr
, i.e.
_
e
_
e
e

_
e
w

_
e
wr
. Four alternative assumptions for
modelling the strain rate components are presented in Table 2.
The rst material model is the reference model employed in the preceding
simulation example. In terms of this model, the elastic strains present are pro-
portional to the stresses. Accordingly, the elastic strain rate is dependent on
changes in the material stiffness. In the second model, the elastic strain rate is
assumed to be proportional to the stress rate. In models 3 and 4 the elastic strain
rate is described just as in models 1 and 2, but the mechano-sorption effect is not
considered. In Figs. 89, the drying deformations and the tangential stress for the
board are plotted for each of these four models as a function of drying time.
The results indicate that simulation, with and without mechano-sorption yield
quite different results in terms of drying deformations. The choice of formulation
for the elastic strain rate has very little inuence on the drying deformations. The
results shown in Fig. 9 indicate that mechano-sorptive strain has a strong in-
uence on tangential stress development. The mechano-sorption effect reduces
the stresses during the drying process, these thus being lower than those devel-
oping in the elastic formulation. The choice of formulation for the elastic strain
rate has little inuence on the results for stress when the mechano-sorption effect
is considered, but is found to have a strong inuence on stress when mechano-
sorptive strain is not taken into consideration.
Influence of material parameters
To investigate the inuence of different material parameters on simulated drying
deformations, calculations using different values for the material parameters were
Fig. 6. The nodal displacements used to calculate the different deformation types
414
performed and were compared with the reference calculation board. In each
calculation, one parameter was reduced to 50% of its reference value, the other
parameters being the same as in the reference case. For each calculation, twist,
cup and bow deformations were studied. The results are presented in three gures
that show the inuence on the twist, cup and bow deformations. Each gure
presents the quantity in question as a function of drying time, both for the
reference calculation and for the results of calculations in which the value of the
one parameter was reduced to 50% of its reference value.
Fig. 7. Development of
tangential stress during the
drying process at two
different positions
Table 2. Four alternative constitutive models of wood during drying
Material assumption Elastic Moisture Mechano-sorptive
strain rate strain rate strain rate
Model 1
_
e
e


C
_
r
_

C r
_
e
w
a _ w
_
e
wr
m rj _ wj
Model 2
_
e
e


C
_
r
_
e
w
a _ w
_
e
wr
m rj _ wj
Model 3
_
e
e


C
_
r
_

C r
_
e
w
a _ w e
wr
0
Model 4
_
e
e


C
_
r
_
e
w
a _ w e
wr
0
415
The inuence of the reduction in the elastic moduli and shear moduli to 50% of
the reference value is shown in Figs. 1011. The results indicate that the various
stiffness parameters differ considerably in their inuence on the drying defor-
mations. The most signicant inuence on the twist deformation is obtained for
Fig. 8. Development of drying
deformations of a board during
the drying process according to
four different constitutive
assumptions
416
the elastic moduli E
r
and E
t
and for the shear moduli G
lr
and G
lt
. The other
stiffness parameters, E
l
and G
rt
, affect the results to only a very slight degree. The
stiffness parameters having the strongest inuence on cup deformation are E
r
, E
t
and G
rt
. One should note that the elastic moduli E
r
and E
t
are very similar in their
inuence on twist and cup deformation, both twist and cup deformations in-
creasing with a decrease in E
t
and decreasing with a decrease in E
r
. The results for
bow deformations show each of the stiffness parameters to have a signicant
inuence on bow deformation. The parameters E
r
, E
t
and G
rt
have the strongest
effect on bow results. The inuence of the parameters E
r
, E
t
on bow deformation
is the reverse of their inuence on twist and cup deformations.
The inuence of a reduction in the moisture shrinkage parameters to 50% of
the reference value is shown in Fig. 12. The results indicate that the moisture
shrinkage parameters a
t
and a
r
strongly inuence twist, cup and bow deforma-
tion. The longitudinal shrinkage parameter a
1
has only a slight inuence on twist
and cup deformations, but a very strong inuence on bow deformation. A large
value of the ratio a
t
=a
r
yields large cup deformation.
The inuence of a reduction in the mechano-sorption parameters to 50% of the
reference value is shown in Fig. 13. The computations show the drying defor-
mations twist, cup, and bow to be strongly inuenced by the mechano-sorption
parameters. The strongest inuence is that obtained for the tangential component
m
t
. The parameter m
r
also has a signicant inuence on drying deformations. The
normal component in the longitudinal direction, m
l
, has very little inuence on
drying deformation.
Influence of spiral grain angle
In this section, the inuence of the spiral grain angle on drying deformations is
considered. As noted in Ormarsson et al. (1998), the spiral grain angle is dened
as the angle between the pith and the bre direction in the 1-t plane. This angle
often shows a radial variation within the timber log, see e.g. Harris (1989). In the
reference board, use was made of the spiral grain function h 4 40r, where r is
the radial distance from the pith in m. To investigate the inuence of the spiral
grain angle, four calculations using different spiral grain functions were per-
formed.
Figure 14 shows the twist, cup, and bow deformations for these calculations as
a function of drying time. The results indicate that differences in the spiral grain
Fig. 9. Development of the
tangential stress component r
t1
during the drying process
according to four different
constitutive assumptions
417
have a very large inuence on twist deformation. Twist deformation increases
with increasing spiral grain angle. In addition, it can be observed that no twist
deformations develop when the spiral grain angle is zero. Thus, the spiral grain
Fig. 10. Inuence of the
elastic moduli on twist, cup
and bow deformation
418
angle is one of the most important parameters in simulations of twist deforma-
tion. It also inuences bow deformation, but has almost no inuence on cup
deformation.
Fig. 11. Inuence of the
shear moduli on twist, cup
and bow deformation
419
Conclusions and discussion
In the present paper, a three-dimensional theory for shape stability of sawn
timber has been employed in the simulation of a drying board. A parameter study
Fig. 12. Inuence of the
moisture shrinkage
parameters on twist, cup and
bow deformation
420
was performed to investigate the inuence of different parameters on drying
deformations. The simulations provide valuable information concerning the
importance of an accurate description of the material properties and an accurate
Fig. 13. Inuence of the
mechano-sorption parameters
on twist, cup and bow
deformation
421
description of the material orientation. The drying deformations depend to a high
degree on the values for moisture shrinkage and of mechano-sorption parame-
ters. It can be concluded, therefore, that having a relevant theoretical description
Fig. 14. Inuence of the spiral
grain angle on twist, cup and
bow deformation
422
of moisture shrinkage and mechano-sorptive effects, as well as accurate values for
the corresponding material parameters, is highly important. Variation in the
material parameters with respect to the distance from the pith also have an
inuence on drying deformations. The spiral grain angle is an important para-
meter that has a considerable inuence on such drying deformations as twist and
bow. Radial variation in the spiral grain angle likewise has an inuence on the
development of deformation.
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