Bjurhager I, Berglund LA, Bardage SL, Sundberg B
Mechanical characterization of juvenile European aspen (Populus tremula) and hybrid aspen (Populus tremula x Populus tremuloides) suing full-field strain measurements
Journal of Wood Science: 2008 54(5):349-355

Functional analysis of genes and proteins involved in wood formation and fiber properties often involves phenotyping saplings of transgenic trees. The objective of the present study was to develop a tensile test method for small green samples from saplings, and to compare mechanical properties of juvenile European aspen (Populus tremula) and hybrid aspen (Populus tremula × tremuloides). Small microtomed sections were manufactured and successfully tested in tension parallel to fiber orientation. Strain was determined by digital speckle photography. Results showed significantly lower values for juvenile hybrid aspen in both Young’s modulus and tensile strength parallel to the grain. Average Young’s moduli spanned the ranges of 5.9–6.6 and 4.8–6.0 GPa for European aspen and hybrid aspen, respectively. Tensile strength was in the range of 45–49 MPa for European aspen and 32–45 MPa for hybrid aspen. The average density (oven-dry) was 284 kg/m3 for European aspen and 221 kg/m3 for hybrid aspen. Differences in mechanical properties correlated with differences in density.

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