Effect of Knots on Horizontal Shear Strength in Southern Yellow Pine

Yawei Cao, Jason Street, Brian Mitchell, Filip To, Janice DuBien, Roy Daniel Seale, Rubin Shmulsky


Knots are inevitable components found in wood that can adversely affect the mechanical properties of the lumber. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of knots on the horizontal shear strength of southern yellow pine. Knot condition (sound/unsound) and shear plane (radial/tangential face) were studied as the factors of shear strength. The standard ASTM D143-94 (2014) was used to compare 120 pairs of clear shear blocks and shear blocks containing knots. Paired t-test results showed that regardless of the direction of the grain compared with the shear plane (perpendicular or parallel), sound knots increased the shear strength and the unsound knots decreased shear strength. Based on this study, the unsound knot volume was found to be a significant factor in decreasing the shear strength in the radial or tangential face direction. Furthermore, no significant relationship between the knot angle and shear strength was found. Shear failure occurred in the wood when an encased knot sample was tested and shear failure occurred in the knot when an intergrown knot sample was tested.


Shear strength; Knots; Angle; Volume; Shear failure; Southern yellow pine

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