Honors College Thesis

 

An Examination of the Neutral Axis of Wood Beams Public

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  • For wood beams, it is often assumed that the neutral axis is located at the centroid of the beam. The neutral axis of isotropic, homogeneous materials is located at the centroid of the material, but wood is neither isotropic nor homogeneous. The varying grain patterns and knots located throughout wood are points of discontinuity that make wood anisotropic and non-homogeneous. In fact, wood is an orthotropic material, meaning that it has properties that are different in three mutually perpendicular directions. Because of this, research is needed to determine the location of the neutral axis of wood materials to gain a better understanding of the behavior of wood beams. This project used Digital Image Correlation and VIC-3D software to analyze 1in by 1in and nominal 2in by 4in wood beams when loaded in bending. Axial strain plots were used to determine the location of the neutral axis. From the data obtained, it was determined that the neutral axis of 1in by 1in wood beams is located below the centroid and for 2in by 4in beams the neutral axis is located above the centroid. Additionally, it was determined that knots will change the location of the neutral axis depending on their location in the beam.
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