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Structure and properties of Vasa oak

by Ljungdahl, Jonas

Abstract (Summary)
The Vasa ship is not adequately supported. Measurements of the hull show that the ship deforms and rotate towards the port side. In addition, damages on the hull at support areas have been observed. The damages are due to high compressive loads. At damaged zones the support has been removed and the loads are thus transferred to adjacent support stanchions. In order to design an improved support, knowledge of the mechanical behaviour of the material is needed. In particular, radial modulus, strength and deformation mechanisms are of interest. In the present study, the mechanical behaviour of recent oak and oak from Vasa is studied. Furthermore, effects of PEG content, degradation and moisture on the properties of Vasa oak are investigated.Oak is characterized by a very abrupt change from earlywood to latewood, where the latewood is much denser than earlywood. Also present in oak are large rays in the radial direction of the wood.Small specimens were tested in compression using Digital Speckle Photography (DSP) in order to obtain strain fields of the whole specimen surface. This technique also provided data on failure mechanisms. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) was performed to establish differences in moisture softening.In radial compression, modulus and strength of Vasa oak are reduced by 50% compared with recent oak. A significant change of failure mechanism is observed for Vasa oak. In recent oak, failure in radial compression is by continuous folds of rays in the earlywood followed by continued plastic collapse of the earlywood layer. In Vasa oak rays show a more brittle fracture in each earlywood region. DMTA results indicate no effect on moisture softening of Vasa oak from presence of PEG although more work is needed to confirm this. Moisture adsorption for PEG-extracted Vasa oak is not significantly higher than for recent oak below 60% RH, suggesting that the extent of degradation of Vasa oak is limited. Vasa oak containing PEG is much more hygroscopic than PEG-extracted Vasa oak already at 50%. This difference is increasing with increasing relative humidity.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Materials science; oak; archaeological wood; European oak; transverse anisotropy

ISBN:91-7178-386-5

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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