An experimental and numerical study of moisture transport and moisture-induced strain in fast-grown sitka spruce

Conan O'Ceallaigh*, Karol Sikora, Daniel McPolin, Annette M. Harte

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    70 Downloads (Pure)


    The use of fast-grown timber in the manufacture of engineered wood products is increasing; however, the fast growth rate results in a low-density timber that is susceptible to significant swelling and shrinkage deformations under changing moisture content. The current study focuses on the characterisation of the moisture diffusion and swelling/shrinkage of fast-grown Sitka spruce and the prediction of the moisture-induced strain development in Sitka spruce glulam beams under variable humidity cycles. Moisture content evolution and swelling/shrinkage coefficients were measured and the longitudinal swelling/shrinkage was found to be significantly greater than for slow-grown timber. Sitka spruce glued-laminated beams were subjected to controlled relative humidity cycling for 52 weeks and the moisture distribution and moisture-induced strains were measured continuously. Coupled moisture-displacement numerical models, incorporating the experimentally measured material parameters were developed. The effect of the glue-line was found to have an insignificant effect on moisture transport, however, the material orientation greatly influenced the predicted moisture-induced strain. Accurately mapping the material orientation produced significantly better predictions of the experimental results over the 52-week period.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-64
    Number of pages20
    JournalMaderas: Ciencia y Tecnologia
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2019


    • Adsorption
    • Desorption
    • Finite element analysis
    • Glued laminated timber
    • Long-term moisture transport
    • Moisture diffusion

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Forestry
    • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
    • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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