Current issue: 54(4)
Under compilation: 54(5)
According to the literature, the mechanical strength of the green reaction wood of softwood species (compression wood) is greater than that of normal wood. Drying increases the mechanical strength but less in reaction wood than in normal wood. In particular, the tensile strength along the grain and the impact strength are lower than in normal wood. The compression strength and possibly bending strength are greater, however.
The properties of the reaction wood of hardwood species (tension wood) differ from those of softwoods. When green, all mechanical properties are weaker than those of normal wood. When dried, the tensile strength and impact strength are better and compression strength lower. There is no great difference in the bending strength.
When the higher density of reaction wood is not taken into account and there are no impact forces, the mechanical strength of reaction wood in sawn goods etc. does not differ so much from that of normal wood. The harmful effect of knots, for example, can in practice be much greater.
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