New model to predict wood behavior under load at different moisture and temperature conditions

Winston Mmari studies the interaction between heat, moisture, and transport mechanisms in wood.


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Wood has been used as a construction material for a very long time. Developing efficient industrial production processes of wood has expanded the use of the material by introducing new products, such as engineered wood products.

The moisture content in wood strongly influences its physical and mechanical properties. Predicting the moisture content and transport of moisture in wood is challenging.

In a recent dissertation on building technology, Winston Mmari investigates how heat, moisture, and transport mechanisms interact in wood. He then creates a model to forecast how the wood will behave under mechanical load at various moisture and temperature conditions.

Winston Mmari, Ph.D. in building technology, said, “The primary goal of the dissertation is to develop a model that can predict the macroscopic behavior of wood under mechanical load while also exposed to varying moisture and temperature conditions.”

The behavior of wood when it is exposed to moisture or under mechanical pressures is examined in the dissertation. Wood’s characteristics are discussed, and theoretical models are applied to forecast its behavior. Models and simulations are used in four sections of the dissertation.

The first part explains how moisture flows through the wood. The following sections enhance the model to incorporate moisture levels and wood distortions caused by moisture fluctuations. Additionally, simulations are run to evaluate the models. The study’s third section, which uses a unique model, focuses on how wood fractures. The model’s capabilities are investigated through simulations, and the outcomes are contrasted with experimental findings.

Mmari said, “The processes of moisture absorption and movement within wood go hand in hand with temperature changes in the material. My dissertation shows that these complicated moisture transport mechanisms in wood and the resulting distortions and cracks can be described with models built on strong mathematical theories and be predicted through computer simulations.”

“The model that has been developed can be used as a tool for analysis and to predict the behavior of wood elements and structures. The models can be used to investigate and optimize the drying processes for wood. In addition, the results from this study help direct researchers towards the right directions for future experimental and theoretical studies aimed at improving the knowledge and understanding of this environmentally friendly material.”

Journal Reference:

  1. Mmari, Winston, et al. Multiphase continuum modeling of wood: A hybrid mixture theory approach. DOI: 10.15626/LUD.485.2023


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