Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 3210–3217 | Cite as

Viscoelastic properties of wood across the grain measured under water-saturated conditions up to 135 °C: evidence of thermal degradation

  • Vincent PlacetEmail author
  • Joëlle Passard
  • Patrick Perré


In this paper, the viscoelastic properties of wood under water-saturated conditions are investigated from 10 to 135 °C using the WAVET apparatus. Experiments were performed via harmonic tests at two frequencies (0.1 and 1 Hz) for several hours. Four species of wood were tested in the radial and tangential material directions: oak (Quercus sessiliflora), beech (Fagus sylvatica), spruce (Picea abies) and fir (Abies pectinata). When the treatment is applied for several hours, a reduction of the wood rigidity is significant from temperature values as low as 80–90 °C and increases rapidly with the temperature level. The storage modulus of oak wood is divided by a factor two after 3 h of exposure at 135 °C. This marked reduction in rigidity is attributed to the hydrolysis of hemicelluloses. The softening temperature of wood is also noticeably affected by hygro-thermal treatment. After three short successive treatments up to 135 °C, the softening temperature of oak shifted from 79 °C to 103 °C, at a frequency of 1 Hz. This reduction in mobility of wood polymers is consistent with the condensation of lignins observed by many authors at this temperature level. In the same conditions, fir exhibited a softening temperature decrease of about 4 °C. In any case, the internal friction clearly rises.


Lignin Hemicellulose Thermal Degradation Storage Modulus Viscoelastic Property 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent Placet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joëlle Passard
    • 2
  • Patrick Perré
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Applied MechanicsCNRS UMR 6174 FEMTO-ST InstituteBesanconFrance
  2. 2.UMR1093 Etudes et Recherche sur le Matériau BoisINRA, ENGREFNancyFrance

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