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Wood and timber are natural organic materials that comprise the structural tissue of trees. There are two forms of wood products: natural and engineered. Natural wood is harvested directly from natural growing trees, whereas engineered wood is man made by binding the fibers harvested from natural wood together with laminates or glues to form a different pattern of interlocking fibers that provide a material with characteristics that may not be found in natural wood products.

Wood and Timber Testing:

The most common reason for testing wood and timber products is to determine their ultimate or breaking strength in tension, compression and flexure. The wood and timber products will experience these forces in various forms and combinations depending upon their application in the construction, furniture and common goods manufacturing industries. The measured strength of the wood and timber material will determine if it is an acceptable candidate for a particular application.

Natural and Engineered Wood and Timber Testing Specimens:

Wood and timber materials that undergo mechanical testing generally have one of two common forms: natural and engineered.
Natural wood products are those that are harvested directly from trees and do not experience any fundamental changes. These materials generally showcase the grains and defects that are found in natural grown trees.
Engineered wood materials are made from natural wood that has been altered in a fundamental way so as to change the characteristics of the wood it was made from. Engineered wood such as plywood, particleboard, and glue laminated timber are created using many different processes that are chosen based upon the desired characteristics for the material. These processes involve combining smaller pieces of wood or solid sheets of wood using laminates, glues or resin in order to form a product that possesses higher strength or flexibility than natural wood.

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