Author: Crespo Outes, J.
Supervisor: Guaita Fernández, M. & Majano-Majano, A.
University: University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, Spain
In the regions of Atlantic influence of southern Europe, there is an extensive area of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. plantations (white eucalyptus) located especially in Galicia (Spain) and Portugal.
Currently, the main applications of Eucalyptus globulus L. are the supply of wood for energy purposes and as raw-material for the pulp industry. However, E. globulus wood shows excellent mechanical properties, being structurally characterized as D40, the highest strength class assigned to growing species in Europe. This fact, added to the high growth rate that results in reduced transformation shifts compared to most hardwoods, makes E. globulus a species with great potential for structural applications and new products development.
To this end, material and structural modelling and design processes that involve the development of reliable finite element-based models, require a full description of the timber properties at a macroscopic level. These properties are usually characterized by testing small clear specimens.
This Doctoral Thesis contributes by providing, for the first time, the value of the main properties of clear wood from Eucalyptus globulus L. necessary for such numerical modelling. Specifically, the orthotropic elastic constants of the material, the strength and stiffness properties considering different stresses and grain orientations, as well as the static friction coefficients and the fracture properties are experimentally determined. The latter are necessary in particular situations with timber surfaces in contact or where a brittle failure can take place, as happens for example in the design of different types of joints.
The experimental results confirm the high mechanical performance of E. globulus, expanding the possibility of using this species as raw material for new applications with greater added value.