Received 8 December 1997
An investigation of fatigue failure in wood subjected to load cycles in compression parallel to grain is presented. Small clear specimens of spruce are taken to failure in square wave formed fatigue loading at a stress excitation level corresponding to 80% of the short term strength. Four frequencies ranging from 0.01 Hz to 10 Hz are used. The number of cycles to failure is found to be a poor measure of the fatigue performance of wood. Creep, maximum strain, stiffness and work are monitored throughout the fatigue tests. Accumulated creep is suggested identified with damage and a correlation is observed between stiffness reduction and accumulated creep. A failure model based on the total work during the fatigue life is rejected, and a modified work model based on elastic, viscous and non-recovered viscoelastic work is experimentally supported, and an explanation at a microstructural level is attempted. The outline of a model explaining the interaction of the effect of load duration and the effect of the loading sequences is presented.
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