Characteristics and Structure of Wood

WEI101 – Wood Characteristics

by: Dr. Rakesh Gupta, Professor, Oregon State Univeristy

Module Length: 22 minutes .

This module focuses on characteristics, structure and properties of wood as a material and its use for structural applications.

The key to designing strong and durable structure with any material is knowing the material.  It is more true for wood than for any other material because it is a biological material and has unique characteristics and properties.  Wood is probably one of the most complex material to be used in any application.  Its properties are variable and on the environment it is in.  It is extremely important for a structural engineer to understand idiosyncrasies of wood to ensure proper design and use.

In this module, we will focus on typical characteristics and basic anatomical structure of wood, and its relevance to the behavior of wood members under load.  We will discuss  the type of wood and common wood products used in modern construction, basic anatomy of wood and its cellular makeup, orthotropic nature of wood, wood-moisture relationship, natural growth characteristics of wood, and durability and fire performance of wood.  This module is the basic knowledge that would help you to design long lasting and beautiful wood structures.