Wood Structure and its Physical Properties
The fibrous nature of wood strongly influences how it is used. Wood is primarily composed of hollow, elongate, spindle-shaped cells that are arranged parallel to each other along the trunk of a tree. When lumber and other products are cut from the tree, the characteristics of these fibrous cells and their arrangement affect such properties as strength and shrinkage as well as the grain pattern of the wood. The versatility of wood is demonstrated by a wide variety of products. This variety is a result of a spectrum of desirable physical characteristics or properties among the many species of wood.
This course provides guidance for the efficient use of wood as a construction material. It provides engineers, architects, and others with a source of information on the structure of wood as well as its physical properties; and how these properties are affected by variations in the wood itself.
This online PDH course is applicable to structural engineers, design and construction, and other technical professionals who are interested in gaining a better understanding of the structure and physical properties of wood.
This continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:
- Distinguishing between different layers (bark, cambium, heartwood, sapwood and pith
- Understanding wood cells and growth rings
- Understanding the chemical composition and identifying the various wood species
- Familiarization with the various appearances of wood
- Learning about the moisture content and shrinkage properties
- Learning about the weight, density and specific gravity of wood
- Understanding the working qualities and decay resistance of wood
- Understanding the thermal, electrical and radioactive properties of wood
In this course, you need to review Chapters 2 and 3 of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Publication FPL-GTR-113, "Wood as Engineering Material" provided below.
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