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Application of ultrasonic tomography to characterize the mechanical state of standing trees (Picea abies)

Brancheriau L., Ghodrati A., Gallet P., Thaunay P., Lasaygues P.. 2012. Journal of Physics. Conference Series, 353 (012007) : 14 p.. Anglo-French Physical Acoustics Conference. 10, 2011-01-19/2011-01-21, Fréjus (France).

DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/353/1/012007

Wood is a biological growth medium. It is orthotropic with longitudinal, radial and tangential axes. Furthermore, standing trees adapt themselves to environmental growth conditions, and their material properties vary with age. These changes result in variations that are much more complex than anisotropy. Studying wood quality and intraspecific variability is useful for clonal selection and for the genetic improvement of plantations. In this study, two logs of Picea abies underwent transmission tomography. The mean diameter was 16 cm (26-year-old tree) and the moisture content was 22%. The effect of the presence of bark and artificial defects was investigated. The tomographic device was specifically built for tree imaging. The imaging process was automatic with 900 ultrasonic acquisitions in 40 minutes (emission at 55 kHz with 5 periods of square wave form). The main conclusions were: speed near the bark is higher than in the centre because of the existence of juvenile wood combined with the moisture content gradient (moisture content lower near the bark). Likewise, damping near the bark is lower than in the centre. A significant relationship was observed between slowness and attenuation (R²=0.50); when the speed increased, damping decreased. No clear effect of the presence of bark was shown on the tomographic images. The bark was thin (3 to 5 mm thick) compared to the wavelength (26 mm). The 10, 20 and 50 mm artificial holes were clearly visible on the tomographic images. However, quantitative tomography does not enable the precise location of defects.

Mots-clés : picea abies; bois; ultrason; propriété mécanique; propriété physicochimique; iran république islamique

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