Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material.pdf

Taken from Preface: This handbook was prepared by the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), a unit of the research organization of the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Laboratory, established in 1910, is maintained at Madison, Wisconsin, in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin. It was the first institution in the world to conduct general research on wood and its utilization. The accumulation of information that has resulted from its engineering and allied investigations of wood and wood products over nine decades along with knowledge of everyday construction practices and problems is the chief basis for this handbook.

The Wood Handbook was first issued in 1935, and slightly revised in 1939, as an unnumbered publication. Further revisions in 1955, 1974, and 1987 were published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as Agriculture Handbook No. 72. This current work is a complete revision of the 1987 edition. This revision was necessary to reflect more recent research accomplishments and technological changes.

The audience for the Wood Handbook is fairly broad. Therefore, the coverage of each chapter is aimed at providing a general discussion of the topic, with references included for additional information. Past versions of the Wood Handbook tended to report only the findings and applications of FPL research. Although the handbook is not intended to be a state-of-the-art review, this approach would now leave significant gaps in some important areas. The current edition has broadened the sources of information to provide better coverage of important topics.

Keywords: wood structure, physical properties (wood), mechanical properties (wood), lumber, wood-based composites, plywood, panel products, design, fastenings, wood moisture, drying, gluing, fire resistance, finishing, decay, sandwich construction, preservation, and woodbased products.


  • Chapter 1: Characteristics and Availability of Commercially Important Wood [ Timber Resources and Uses ~ Species Descriptions ~ U.S. Wood Species ~ Imported Woods ]
  • Chapter 2: Structure of Wood [ Bark, Wood, Branches, and Cambium ~ Sapwood and Heartwood ~ Growth Rings ~ Wood Cells ~ Chemical Composition ~ Species Identification ]
  • Chapter 3: Physical Properties and Moisture Relations of Wood [ Appearance ~ Moisture Content ~ Shrinkage ~ Weight, Density, and Specific Gravity ~ Working Qualities ~ Decay Resistance ~ Thermal Properties ~ Electrical Properties ~ Coefficient of Friction ~ Nuclear Radiation ]
  • Chapter 4: Mechanical Properties of Wood [ Orthotropic Nature of Wood ~ Elastic Properties ~ Strength Properties ~ Vibration Properties ~ Mechanical Properties of Clear Straight-Grained Wood ~ Natural Characteristics Affecting Mechanical Properties ~ Effects of Manufacturing and Service Environments ]
  • Chapter 5: Commercial Lumber [ Hardwood Lumber ~ Softwood Lumber ~ Purchase of Lumber ~ Commonly Used Lumber Abbreviations ]
  • Chapter 6: Lumber Stress Grades and Design Properties [ Responsibilities and Standards for Stress Grading ~ Visually Graded Structural Lumber ~ Machine-Graded Structural Lumber ~ Adjustment of Properties for Design Use ]
  • Chapter 7: Fastenings [ Nails ~ Spikes ~ Staples ~ Drift Bolts ~ Wood Screws ~ Lag Screws ~ Bolts ~ Connector Joints ~ Multiple-Fastener Joints ~ Metal Plate Connectors ~ Fastener Head Embedment ]
  • Chapter 8: Structural Analysis Equations [ Deformation Equations ~ Stress Equations ~ Stability Equations ]
  • Chapter 9: Adhesive Bonding of Wood Materials [ Adhesion to Wood ~ Surface Properties of Wood Adherends ~ Physical Properties of Wood Adherends ~ Adhesives ~ Bonding Process ~ Bonded Joints ~ Testing and Performance ]
  • Chapter 10: Wood-Based Composites and Panel Products [ Scope ~ Types of Conventional Composite Materials ~ Adhesive Considerations ~ Additives ~ General Manufacturing Issues ~ Standards for Wood-Based Panels ~ Plywood ~ Particle and Fiber Composites ~ Wood-Nonwood Composites ]
  • Chapter 11: Glued Structural Members [ Structural Composite Lumber ~ Glulam ~ Glued Members With Lumber and Panels ~ Structural Sandwich Construction ]
  • Chapter 12: Drying and Control of Moisture Content and Dimensional Changes [ Determination of Moisture Content ~ Recommended Moisture Content ~ Drying of Wood ~ Moisture Control During Transit and Storage ~ Dimensional Changes in Wood ~ Design Factors Affecting Dimensional Change ~ Wood Care and Installation During Construction ]
  • Chapter 13: Biodeterioration of Wood [ Fungus Damage and Control ~ Bacteria ~ Insect Damage and Control ~ Marine Borer Damage and Control ]
  • Chapter 14: Wood Preservation [ Wood Preservatives ~ Preservative Effectiveness ~ Effect of Species on Penetration ~ Preparation of Timber for Treatment ~ Application of Preservatives ~ Handling and Seasoning of Timber After Treatment ~ Quality Assurance for Treated Wood ]
  • Chapter 15: Finishing of Wood [ Factors Affecting Finish Performance ~ Control of Water or Moisture in Wood ~ Types of Exterior Wood Finishes ~ Application of Wood Finishes ~ Finish Failure or Discoloration ~ Finishing of Interior Wood ~ Finishes for Items Used for Food ~ Wood Cleaners and Brighteners ~ Paint Strippers ~ Lead-Based Paint ]
  • Chapter 16: Use of Wood In Building and Bridges [ Light-Frame Buildings ~ Post-Frame and Pole Buildings ~ Log Buildings ~ Heavy Timber Buildings ~ Timber Bridges ~ Considerations for Wood Buildings ]
  • Chapter 17: Fire Safety [ Fire Safety Design and Evaluation ~ Fire Performance Characteristics of Wood ~ Flame-Retardant Treatments ]
  • Chapter 18: Round Timbers and Ties [ Standards and Specifications ~ Material Requirements ~ Availability ~ Form ~ Weight and Volume ~ Durability ~ Strength Properties ]
  • Chapter 19: Specialty Treatments [ Plasticizing Wood ~ Modified Woods ~ Paper-Based Plastic Laminates ]




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