Oregon State University

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WSE Seminar Series: Ben Romanaggi, MS Candidate

Effect of through-boring edge distance on the strength of Douglas-fir utility poles

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziessii) utility poles are a vital part of our electrical infrastructure. Being a natural material, poles are susceptible to fungal attack making it necessary to chemically treat poles for decay prevention. To protect the most decay-susceptible zone of poles, a treating method known as through-boring was developed to increase chemical penetration. Currently, utilities are concerned with a potential loss of strength from through-bored holes. There is limited knowledge on changes in mechanical properties caused by through boring.

The purpose of this research is to investigate a potential loss of strength from through-boring and the effect of drilling distance. Poles were mechanically tested until failure in a bending configuration designed to replicate field conditions. The poles were separated into three through-bored and one control group.

A finite element model was developed using ANSYS. Having a model that can be validated by experimental data would provide utilities a tool to evaluate alternative through-boring patterns.

 This presentation will discuss effects of through-boring on strength along with progress on validating the finite element model.


Ben Romanaggi is a dual master’s student in Wood Science and Civil Engineering and hopes to use both to build tall wood buildings. He enjoys kayaking, running, cooking, and Dungeons & Dragons.


Richardson Hall (campus map)
3180 SW Jefferson Way
Jessica King
Jessica.King at oregonstate.edu
Wood Science & Engineering
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