Finite Element Method for Wood Mechanics

by Adam Al-Dabbagh, Struct. Engr.; UNARCO Industries, Inc., Chicago, IL,
James R. Goodman, Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO,
Jozsef Bodig, Assoc. Prof. of Wood Sci. and Technol.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 3, Pg. 569-586

Document Type: Journal Paper


A three-dimensional finite element method for general anisotropy materials is presented. The method uses a parallelepiped element and includes the directional properties of the materials, making it easily applicable to problems in wood mechanics. By varying the stiffness and allowing some elements to assume zero stiffness, a variety of shapes can be studied, including those with cracks and voids. The limitations of the method are primarily related to the available computer storage and to the fitting of rectangular-sided elements to curved boundaries. Examples are presented to indicate the types of problems this technique is capable of solving. These examples include wood mechanics problems of compression, both parallel and at angles to the ring and grain, tension of a member with holes, and torsion.

Subject Headings: Finite element method | Boundary element method | Wood | Stiffening | Anisotropy | Mechanical properties | Cracking | Voids

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