Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Wood

Source: Marks' standard handbook for mechanical engineers. New York : McGraw-Hill, 2006: ISBN: 0071428674: 9780071428675: Pages 6.115-6.131

Author(s)Green, David W.; White, Robert H.; TenWolde, Antoni; Simpson, William; Murphy, Joseph; Ross, Robert J.; Hernandez, Roland; Lebow, Stan T.

Publication Year: 2006  View PDF »

Related Publications: view

Category: Journal Articles

Abstract: Wood is a naturally formed organic material consisting essentially of elongated tubular elements called cells arranged in a parallel manner for the most part. These cells vary in dimensions and wall thickness with position in the tree, age, conditions of growth, and kind of tree. The walls of the cells are formed principally of chain molecules of cellulose, polymerized from glucose residues and oriented as a partly crystalline material. These chains are aggregated in the cell wall at a variable angle, roughly parallel to the axis of the cell. The cells are cemented by an amorphous material called lignin. The complex structure of the gross wood approximates a rhombic system. The direction parallel to the grain and the axis of the stem is longitudinal (L), the two axes across the grain are radial (R) and tangential (T) with respect to the cylinder of the tree stem. This anisotropy and the molecular orientation account for the major differences in physical and mechanical properties with respect to direction which are present in wood.

Keywords: Wood density; wood moisture; composite materials; mechanical properties; lumber; wood chemistry; lignin; structure; wood; nomenclature; mechanical properties; wood properties; thermal properties; elasticity; wood; wood construction

File size: 534 kb(s)

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 1759
Current FPL Scientists associated with this product (listed alphabetically)
Lebow, Stan T.
Research Forest Products Technologist
Ross, Robert J.
Supervisory Research Gen. Engineer

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »