Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 49, Issue 22, pp 7679–7687 | Cite as

Influence of moisture on the vibro-mechanical properties of bio-engineered wood

  • Marjan Sedighi Gilani
  • Philippe Tingaut
  • Markus Heeb
  • Francis Willis Mathew Robert Schwarze
Original Paper


In this study, changes in the vibro-mechanical properties of fungi-treated wood, during sorption and desorption at different humidity levels, were investigated. Norway spruce resonance wood (with uniform narrow annual rings and high tonal quality for musical instrument craftsmanship) was incubated with Physisporinus vitreus for 36 weeks. Stiffness, internal friction, and tonal performance indices of control (untreated) and fungi-treated wood were compared after exposure to a stepwise variation of relative humidity. It was demonstrated that fungal treatment increased the internal friction and decreased the specific modulus of elasticity, during reduction of wood density. Internal friction of both control and fungi-treated wood significantly increased during dynamic sorption, especially during early stages (hours) of each humidity change step. Both specific modulus of elasticity and internal friction showed a hysteretic behavior during humidity variation cycles. Hysteresis was smaller in fungi-treated wood. Also, tonal performance indices were improved after fungal treatment and showed a reduced variation at different relative humidity conditions. Dynamic vapor sorption tests and FT-IR microscopy studies revealed changes in hygroscopicity and the supramolecular structure of wood, which may explain the observed vibrational behavior. Less dependency of wood vibrational properties to the variation of the ambient humidity is important for the acoustic performance of string instruments.


Lignin Moisture Content Internal Friction Equilibrium Moisture Content Moisture Sorption 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Walter Fischli Foundation and help of our bio-engineering wood team and also Michael Baumgartener for introducing us the practical aspects of instrument making. We also thank Daniel Heer for the sample preparation, Beatrice Fischer for her comments on FT-IR, and Iris Bérmaud for making it possible to use her developed vibrational testing hard- and soft-ware.


  1. 1.
    Gibson LJ (2012) The hierarchical structure and mechanics of plant materials. J R Soc Interface 9:2749–2766CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wegst UGK (2006) Wood for sound. Am J Bot 93(10):1439–1448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Skaar C (1998) Wood–water relations. Springer-Verlag, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Sasaki T, Norimoto M, Yamada T, Rowell RM (1988) Effect of moisture on the acoustical properties of wood. J Jpn Wood Res Soc 34(10):794–803Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Quarles SL (1990) Effect of moisture content and ring angle on the propagation of acoustic signals in wood. J Acoust Emiss 9(3):189–195Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Akitsu H, Norimoto M, Morooka T, Rowell RM (1993) Effect of humidity on vibrational properties of chemically modified wood. Wood Fiber Sci 25(3):250–260Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ebrahimzadeh PR, McQueen DH (1998) A model of the dynamic mechanical responses of wood, paper and some polymers to moisture changes. J Mater Sci 33:1201–1209. doi: 10.1023/A:1004373525437 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hernandez RE (2007) Moisture sorption properties of hardwoods as affected by their extraneous substances, wood density, and interlocked grain. Wood Fiber Sci 39:132–145Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Song K, Yin Y, Salmén L, Xiao F, Jiang X (2014) Changes in the properties of wood cell walls during the transformation from sapwood to heartwood. J Mater Sci 49:1734–1742. doi: 10.1007/s10853-013-7860-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Goswami L, Eder M, Gierlinger G, Burgert B (2008) Inducing large deformation in wood cell walls by enzymatic modification. J Mater Sci 43:1286–1291. doi: 10.1007/s10853-007-2162-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hill CAS, Ramsay J, Keating B, Laine K, Rautkari L, Hughes M, Constant B (2012) The water vapour sorption properties of thermally modified and densified wood. J Mater Sci 47:3191–3197. doi: 10.1007/s10853-011-6154-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ganne-Chédeville C, Jääskeläinen AS, Froidevaux J, Hughes M, Navi P (2012) Natural and artificial ageing of spruce wood as observed by FTIR-ATR and UVRR spectroscopy. Holzforschung 66:163–170Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Fackler K, Gradinger C, Hinterstoisser B, Messner K, Schwanninger M (2006) Lignin degradation by white rot fungi on spruce wood shavings during short-time solid-state fermentations monitored by near infrared spectroscopy. Enzym Microb Technol 39(7):1476–1483CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Schwarze FWMR, Spycher M, Fink S (2008) Superior wood for violins—wood decay fungi as a substitute for cold climate. New Phytol 179:1095–1104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schwarze FWMR, Schubert M (2011) Physisporinus vitreus: a versatile white-rot fungus for engineering value added wood products. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 92:431–440CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    European Committee for Standardization, European Standard EN 113 (1997) Wood preservatives: test method for determining the protective effectiveness against wood destroying basidiomycetes. In: Determination of toxic values. European Committee for Standardization, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ono T, Norimoto M (1983) Study on Young’s modulus and internal friction of wood in relation to the evaluation of wood for musical instruments. Jpn J Appl Phys 22:611–614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Obataya E, Ono T, Norimoto M (2000) Vibrational properties of wood along the grain. J Mater Sci 35:2993–3001. doi: 10.1023/A:1004782827844 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Brémaud I (2006) Diversite´ des bois utilise´s ou utilisables en facture d’instruments de musique (Diversity of woods used or usable in musical instruments making). PhD dissertation, University of Montpellier II, FranceGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lehringer C, Koch G, Adusumalli RB, Mook WM, Richter K, Militz H (2011) Effect of Physisporinus vitreus on wood properties of Norway spruce. Part 1: aspects of delignification and surface hardness. Holzforschung 65:711–719Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Obataya E, Norimoto M, Gril J (1998) The effects of adsorbed water on dynamic mechanical properties of wood. Polymer 39(14):3059–3064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ishimaru Y, Arai K, Mizutani M, Oshima K, Iida L (2001) Physical and mechanical properties of wood after moisture conditioning. J Wood Sci 47(3):185–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Flournoy DS, Paul J, Kirk TK, Highley TL (1993) Changes in the size and volume of pores in sweetgum wood during simultaneous rot by phanerochaete chrysosporium burds. Holzforschung 47:297–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Gilani MS, Schwarze FWMR (2014) Hygric properties of Norway spruce and sycamore after incubation with white rot fungi. Holzforschung. doi: 10.1515/hf-2013-0247
  25. 25.
    Pandey KK, Pitman AJ (2003) FTIR studies of the changes in wood chemistry following decay by brown-rot and white-rot fungi. Int Biodeterior Biodegrad 52:151–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Schwarze FWMR, Lonsdale D, Fink S (1997) An overview of wood degradation patterns and their implications for tree hazard assessment. Arboric J 21:1–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marjan Sedighi Gilani
    • 1
  • Philippe Tingaut
    • 1
  • Markus Heeb
    • 2
  • Francis Willis Mathew Robert Schwarze
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Wood LaboratorySwiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa)DübendorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Applied Wood LaboratorySwiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa)St. GallenSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations