Beech sawn timber for structural use: A case study for mechanical characterization and optimization of the Italian visual strength grading rule

https://doi.org/10.17221/93/2016-JFSCitation:Cibecchini D., Cavalli A., Goli G., Togni M. (2016): Beech sawn timber for structural use: A case study for mechanical characterization and optimization of the Italian visual strength grading rule. J. For. Sci., 62: 521-528.
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The potential use of beech (Fagus sylvatica Linnaeus) sawn timber for structures has been investigated. Beech stands in transition from coppice to high forest after thinning interventions have been sampled from different Italian sources. A sample of 160 beams of two different cross sections was extracted and tested, according to the normalized procedures for the characterization of wood for structures. The specimens were visually graded considering the strength relevant defects, according to the Italian standard. To determine the mechanical properties of the timber (namely strength and stiffness), four-point bending tests were performed and the main characteristic values were derived. The results of the study reveal that knot ratio was the principal defect that influenced both resistance and yields. The potential strength class D30 was achieved with the resulting characteristic values, although, due to the small number of samples tested, the reached class could not be formally assigned. To improve the effectiveness of the grading rule in the Italian standard, some modifications and a new grade were proposed for the beech sawn timber. Finally the D40 strength class could be theoretically reached, but with reduced yields.
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