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The Mechanical Properties of Wood Part 13

_Apparatus_: An ordinary static testing machine and a special tool designed for producing single shear are required. (See Figs. 36 and 37.) This shearing apparatus consists of a solid steel frame with set screws for clamping the block within it firmly in a vertical position. In the centre of the frame is a vertical slot in which a square-edged steel plate slides freely.

When the testing block is in position, this plate impinges squarely along the upper surface of the tenon or lip, which, as vertical pressure is applied, shears off.

[Illustration: Fig. 36.--Vertical section of shearing tool.]

[Illustration: FIG. 37.--Front view of shearing tool with test specimen and steel plate in position for testing.]

_Preparing the material_: The specimens are usually in the form of small, clear, straight-grained blocks with a projecting tenon or lip to be sheared off. Two common forms and sizes are shown in Figure 38. Part of the blocks are cut so that the shearing surface is parallel to the growth rings, or tangential; others at right angles to the growth rings, or radial. It is important that the upper surface of the tenon or lip be sawed exactly parallel to the base of the block. When the form with a tenon is used the under cut is extended a short distance horizontally into the block to prevent any compression from below.

[Illustration: FIG. 38.--Two forms of shear test specimens.]

In designing a shearing specimen it is necessary to take into consideration the proportions of the area of shear, since, if the length of the portion to be sheared off is too great in the direction of the shearing face, failure would occur by compression before the piece would shear. Inasmuch as the endwise compressive strength is sometimes not more than five times the shearing strength, the shearing surface should be less than five times the surface to which the load is applied. This condition is fulfilled in the specimens illustrated.

Shearing specimens are frequently cut from beams after testing.

In this case the specific gravity (dry), proportion of late wood, and rate of growth are assumed to be the same as already recorded for the beams. In specimens not so taken, these quantities are determined in the usual way. The sheared-off portion is used for a moisture section.

_Adjusting specimen in machine_: The test specimen is placed in the shearing apparatus with the tenon or lip under the sliding plate, which is centred under the movable head of the machine.

(See Fig. 39.) In order to reduce to a minimum the friction due to the lateral pressure of the plate against the bearings of the slot, the apparatus is sometimes placed upon several parallel steel rods to form a roller base. A slight initial load is applied to take up the lost motion of the machinery, and the beam balanced.

[Illustration: FIG. 39.--Making a shearing test.]

_Log of the test_: The load is applied continuously and at a uniform rate until failure, but no deformations are measured.

The points noted are the maximum load and the length of time required to reach it. Sketches are made of the failure. If the failure is not pure shear the test is culled.

The shearing strength per square inch is found by dividing the { P } maximum load by the cross-sectional area. { Q = --- } { A }

IMPACT TEST

_Apparatus_: There are several types of impact testing machines.[59] One of the simplest and most efficient for use with wood is illustrated in Figure 40. The base of the machine is 7 feet long, 2.5 feet wide at the centre, and weighs 3,500 pounds. Two upright columns, each 8 feet long, act as guides for the striking head. At the top of the column is the hoisting mechanism for raising or lowering the striking weights. The power for operating the machine is furnished by a motor set on the top. The hoisting-mechanism is all controlled by a single operating lever, shown on the side of the column, whereby the striking weight may be raised, lowered, or stopped at the will of the operator. There is an automatic safety device for stopping the machine when the weight reaches the top.

[Footnote 59: For description of U.S. Forest Service automatic and autographic impact testing machine, see Proc. Am. Soc. for Testing Materials, Vol. VIII, 1908, pp. 538-540.]

[Illustration: FIG. 40.--Impact testing machine.]

The weight is lifted by a chain, one end of which passes over a sprocket wheel in the hoisting mechanism. On the lower end of the chain is hung an electro-magnet of sufficient magnetic strength to support the heaviest striking weights. When it is desired to drop the striking weight the electric current is broken and reversed by means of an automatic switch and current breaker. The height of drop may be regulated by setting at the desired height on one of the columns a tripping pin which throws the switch on the magnet and so breaks and reverses the current.

There are four striking weights, weighing respectively 50, 100, 250, and 500 pounds, any one of which may be used, depending upon the desired energy of blow. When used for compression tests a flat steel head six inches in diameter is screwed into the lower end of the weight. For transverse tests, a well-rounded knife edge is screwed into the weight in place of the flat head.

Knife edges for supporting the ends of the specimen to be tested, are securely bolted to the base of the machine.

The record of the behavior of the specimen at time of impact is traced upon a revolving drum by a pencil fixed in the striking head. (See Fig. 41.) When a drop is made the pencil comes in contact with the drum and is held in place by a spring. The drum is revolved very slowly, either automatically or by hand. The speed of the drum can be recorded by a pencil in the end of a tuning fork which gives a known number of vibrations per second.

[Illustration: FIG. 41.--Drum record of impact bending test.]

One size of this machine will handle specimens for transverse tests 9 inches wide and 6-foot span; the other, 12 inches wide and 8-foot span. For compression tests a free fall of about 6.5 feet may be obtained. For transverse tests the fall is a little less, depending upon the size of the specimen.

The machine is calibrated by dropping the hammer upon a copper cylinder. The axial compression of the plug is noted. The energy used in static tests to produce this axial compression under stress in a like piece of metal is determined. The external energy of the blow (_i.e._, the weight of the hammer X the height of drop) is compared with the energy used in static tests at equal amounts of compression. For instance:

Energy delivered, impact test 35,000 inch-pounds Energy computed from static test .26,400 " "

Efficiency of blow of hammer .75.3 per cent.

_Preparing the material_: The material used in making impact tests is of the same size and prepared in the same way as for static bending and compression tests. Bending in impact tests is more commonly used than compression, and small beams with 28-inch span are usually employed.

_Method_: In making an impact bending test the hammer is allowed to rest upon the specimen and a zero or datum line is drawn. The hammer is then dropped from increasing heights and drum records taken until first failure. The first drop is one inch and the increase is by increments of one inch until a height of ten inches is reached, after which increments of two inches are used until complete failure occurs or 6-inch deflection is secured.

The 50-pound hammer is used when with drops up to 68 inches it is reasonably certain it will produce complete failure or 6-inch deflection in the case of all specimens of a species; for all other species a 100-pound hammer is used.

_Results_: The tracing on the drum (see Fig. 41) represents the actual deflection of the stick and the subsequent rebounds for each drop. The distance from the lowest point in each case to the datum line is measured and its square in tenths of a square inch entered as an abscissa on cross-section paper, with the height of drop in inches as the ordinate. The elastic limit is that point on the diagram where the square of the deflection begins to increase more rapidly than the height of drop. The difference between the datum line and the final resting point after each drop represents the set the material has received.

The formulae used in calculating the results of impact tests in bending when the load is applied at the centre up to the elastic limit are as follows:

3 W H l (1) r = ----------- D b h^{2}

F S l^{2} (2) E = ----------- 6 D h

W H (3) S = ------- l b h

H = height of drop of hammer, including deflection, inches.

S = modulus of elastic resilience, inch-pounds per cubic inch.

W = weight of hammer, pounds.

Remainder of legend as in BENDING LARGE BEAMS, above.

HARDNESS TEST: ABRASION AND INDENTATION

_Abrasion_: The machine used by the U.S. Forest Service is a modified form of the Dorry abrasion machine. (See Fig. 42.) Upon the revolving horizontal disk is glued a commercial sandpaper, known as garnet paper, which is commonly employed in factories in finishing wood.

[Illustration: FIG. 42.--Abrasion machine for testing the wearing qualities of woods.]

A small block of the wood to be tested is fixed in one clamp and a similar block of some wood chosen as a standard, as sugar maple, at 10 per cent moisture, in the opposite, and held against the same zone of sandpaper by a weight of 26 pounds each. The size of the section under abrasion for each specimen is 2" X 2". The conditions for wear are the same for both specimens. The speed of rotation is 68 revolutions a minute.

The test is continued until the standard specimen is worn a specified amount, which varies with the kind of wood under test.

A comparison of the wear of the two blocks affords a fair idea of their relative resistance to abrasion.

Another method makes use of a sand blast to abrade the woods and is the one employed in New South Wales.[60] The apparatus consists essentially of a nozzle through which sand can be propelled at a high velocity against the test specimen by means of a steam jet.

[Footnote 60: See Warren, W.H.: The strength, elasticity, and other properties of New South Wales hardwood timbers. Dept.

For., N.S.W., Sydney, 1911, pp. 88-95.]

The wood to be tested is cut into blocks 3" X 3" X 1', and these are weighed to the nearest grain just before placing in the apparatus. Steam from the boiler at a pressure of about 43 pounds per square inch is ejected from a nozzle in such a way that particles of fine quartz sand are caught up and thrown violently against the block which is being rotated. Only superheated steam strikes the block, thus leaving the wood dry.

The test is continued for two minutes, after which the specimen is removed and immediately weighed.

By comparison with the original weight the loss from abrasion is determined, and by comparison with a certain wood chosen as a standard, a coefficient of wear-resistance can be obtained. The amount of wear will vary more or less according to the surface exposed, and in these tests quarter-sawed material was used with the edge grain to the blast.

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