Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


An Investigation and Understanding of the Mechanical Response of Palmyrah Timber

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 8-15-2003


The Palmyrah tree flourishes in tropical areas around South East Asia, and particularly in Sri Lanka. Palmyrah is an important economic resource for the region, and has found use in structural applications for both residential dwellings and commercial buildings. While there is a great deal of local field experience with Palmyrah, the mechanical properties have not been well characterized or understood. In an effort to assist engineers with the design and efficient use of the timber, a study was undertaken to evaluate the mechanical response of Palmyrah and develop estimates of design allowable properties. Properties evaluated include static bending strength, modulus, compression parallel and perpendicular to the grain, shear parallel to the grain and tensile strength parallel and perpendicular to the grain. In order to gain insight into the behavior of the wood, samples were examined using standard optical microscopy techniques. In addition, available fracture surfaces were examined using scanning electron microscopy.

Publication Title

Materials Science and Engineering: A





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