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WSE Seminar Series: Elijah Wilson, MS Candidate


Wednesday, November 15, 2017 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Small hairline cracks called checks in the decorative face veneer of hardwood plywood are a costly problem for the hardwood plywood industry.  These checks form due to differential shrinkage stresses. Not all hardwood plywood panels will produce checks and those which do, usually produce differing amounts of checks. Authors of technical and trade articles have provided an abundance of recommendations, advice and discussion on many potential causes of checking. These authors’ notes when combined have shown checking to be a very complex issue. Little research has been done on checking, and any research done has been challenged because check formation is sporadic as well as because check detection and measurement is very time consuming. Further, there have been contradictory findings in past research; as a result, there are no clear ‘best practices’ for industry to follow. This all has created the need for a system which can rapidly identify and measure checks as they develop. Burnard (2012) created such a system using the principles of Digital Image Correlation (DIC). The present study follows-up this work by refining Burnard’s system and testing check development in hard maple veneer due to: veneer moisture content before layup (x and y levels), core moisture content before layup (levels), adhesive type (levels) and core type (levels). Color variation in maple veneer was added as another potential contributor to checking. One-foot by one-foot panels of maple plywood conditioned at 90% relative humidity (RH) and 30 degrees Celsius for at least a week were tested at conditions between 5-10% RH and 35 degrees Celsius for approximately five hours. DIC techniques were employed for initial check detection and measurement. Strain in the x-direction calculated by DIC was placed into a check characterization software giving eleven different output variables.

Elijah Wilson is in his second year of graduate studies in Wood Science and is just weeks away from graduation. He has spent the last two years working on a research project looking at checking in maple plywood. It has been a challenging but rewarding experience for him to participate in this research. Elijah’s plan is to move to Georgia once he has graduated. He is in the process of looking for jobs now.


Jessica King
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