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Investigation of the Relationships between Anatomical Pattern, Density and Local Swelling of Oak Wood

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We coupled a digital X-ray imaging system with a humid air conditioner. This new configuration allows the shrinkage behaviour of thin samples to be measured. In order to control both the temperature and the relative humidity in the chamber, an air generator was developed which ensures very stable conditions even over several months. The X-ray beam passes through the chamber to the 2D detector. Twelve samples can be placed on a rotating sample holder. The strain field due to the moisture content variations is determined by an image correlation algorithm, which compares X-ray images collected at different moisture conditions. Moreover, inspection by X-ray simultaneously produces complementary data: the local density and the spatial organisation of the tissues within the anatomical pattern. Twelve oak samples, chosen for their wide variability of the anatomical pattern, were characterised using this device.Some models available in the literature are used to predict the swelling. fThe comparison between measurements and prediction is rather poor. The variable anatomical structure of the annual rings permits some explanations for this decrepancy and leads to the conclusion that the complete spatial organisation of the tissues has to be quantified to understand and to predict the behaviour of oak wood.


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