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Effect of Moisture Content on the Morphology of Longitudinal Fracture in Eucalyptus Maculata

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The longitudinal surfaces of Eucalyptus maculata wood sampies fractured either artificially (splitting) or naturally (drying stresses) at a range of moisture contents, were examined under a scanning eleetron microscope. In those sam pies above fibre saturation point, a relativeIy clean surface was produced, since the cells either separated in the outer regions of the wall with minimal fibrillation (fibres, some ray parenchyma), or the fracture path travelled abruptly through the wall exposing the lumen (vertical parenchyma, vessels, so me ray cells). Below fibre saturation, particularly as the air dry condition was approached, a fibrous, splintery surface resulted, due mainly to fibrillation and delamination of the secondary walls in fibres and ray parenchyma.


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