The Effects of Electron Beam Irradiation Dose on the Mechanical Performance of Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Timothy Starr, David P. Harper, Timothy G. Rials


To understand how electron beam irradiation affects wood physically and chemically, irradiated maple beams (Acer rubrum) and veneers were examined using three-point bend tests, dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), and NIR- and FTIR- spectroscopy. The MOR from the bending tests revealed a significant decline in the red maple’s strength after a dose of 80 kGy. DMA results showed evidence of crosslinking of the amorphous content of the wood at low doses, followed by degradation at higher doses, with the change in response occurring around 80 kGy. Infrared spectroscopy revealed that the components of wood that were most impacted were the phenolic hydroxyl structures of lignin and cellulose hydroxyls, with the greatest effects being seen after 80 kGy.


Electron beam radiation; Wood; Dynamic mechanical analysis; Near infrared spectroscopy; Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; Principal component analysis

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