Hygromorphic response dynamics of oak: towards accelerated material characterization

T. Arends, L. Pel, H.P. Huinink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)


When a wood board is exposed to a change in relative humidity on only one of its surfaces, e.g. in case of flooring or a panel painting, the resulting asymmetric moisture content profile induces differential expansion over the thickness. Consequently a bending moment causes the board to curve. A theory is presented to describe the bending of a wood board due to a step change in relative humidity. The board is assumed to be homogeneous, isotropic, and linearly elastic. Moisture transport is presumed to obey the diffusion equation with constant coefficients, such that moisture transport can be directly related to the bending of the board. It is shown that the transient deflective behavior provides the diffusion coefficient and the final length change yields the linear hygroscopic expansion coefficient. Derived diffusion coefficients are in good agreement with values in literature. Furthermore, a scaling law for the deflection of the board is proposed, which is seen to be followed qualitatively but not quantitatively by experiments. Finally, by assuming the deflection of the board to be the response of a linear system, the deflective frequency response of the board can be predicted from its step response. The results allow upscaling of deflection and expansion, such that behavior of thick boards can be determined from an experiment using a thin board.
Original languageEnglish
Article number181
Pages (from-to)181
Number of pages17
JournalMaterials and Structures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Hygromechanical behavior
  • Moisture transport
  • Non-destructive evaluation
  • Wood


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