Development of a technique to measure the residual strength of woodworm infested timber

John Gilfillan, Stephen Gilbert

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents a study of the residual strength of Pinus sylvestris, which has been subject to attack by the furniture beetle (Anobium punctatum). It is relatively easy to stop the infestation, but difficult to assess the structural soundness of the remaining timber. Removal and replacement of affected structural elements is usually difficult and expensive, particularly in buildings of historic interest. Current on-site assessment procedures are limited. The main object of the study was to develop an on-site test of timber quality: a test which can be carried out on the surface and also at varying depths into the timber. It is based on a probe pull-out technique using a portable load-measuring device. Pull-out force values have been correlated with both strength and energy absorbed as measured by compression testing on laboratory samples of both sound and infested timber. These two relationships are significant and could be used to assess whether remedial work is needed. In addition, work on the use of artificial borings to simulate the natural worming of timber is presented and the findings discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-388
    Number of pages8
    JournalConstruction and Building Materials
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Materials Science(all)

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