Analysis of Cantilever-Beam Bending Stress Relaxation Properties of Thin Wood Composites

John F. Hunt, Houjiang Zhang, Yan Huang


An equivalent strain method was used to analyze and determine material relaxation properties for specimens from particleboard, high density fiberboard, and medium density fiberboard. Cantilever beams were clamped and then deflected to 11 m and held for either 2 h or 3 h, while the load to maintain that deflection was measured vs. time. Plots of load relaxation for each specimen showed similar load relaxation vs. time even though there were some slight differences in the maximum load per sample. Three models were developed to fit the relaxation data. The first model was a simple log decrement. This simple log model used only one variable, the relaxation coefficient, to describe the relaxation behavior as the log of time. The log decrement model was marginal at best in modeling the relaxation data. The second and third models, however, used equivalent strain methods. The second model assumed a combined linear-elastic spring and a Kelvin-Voigt spring-dashpot model. The third model used a combination of a linear-elastic spring (linear strain) element, a Kelvin-Voigt (spring-dashpot, visco-elastic strain) element, and a dashpot (permanent strain) element for its total configuration. Both equivalent strain models provided excellent correlations for the two lengths of time used for this series. Estimated mechanical and relaxation, or creep properties, were determined from the equivalent strain method using cantilever beam equations.


Thin wood composites; Cantilever-beam bending; Stress relaxation; Relaxation coefficient; Equivalent strain; Kelvin model; Burgers model; Elastic strain; Visco-elastic strain; Permanent strain

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