Abstract

In order to better understand the differences in orthotropic viscoelastic properties of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) in frozen and non-frozen states, the storage modulus (E′) and loss modulus (E″) of the longitudinal, radial, and tangential specimens were investigated under water-saturated conditions with temperatures ranging from −120°C (or 30°C) to 280°C. Results revealed that the order of magnitude in E′ for each orientation was consistent for temperatures below 0°C, while the anisotropy in E′ was reduced due to the enhancement effect of ice. Frequency-dependent γ-relaxation was observed at approximately −96°C for all orthotropic directions. A sharp discontinuity in E′ occurred at approximately 0°C for each specimen, together with the corresponding sharp peak in the E″ spectrum. Furthermore, the frozen free water had an effect on the orthotropic viscoelastic behavior in the water-saturated specimens within the range of −120°C to 280°C. Specimens with a frozen history leveled off at the initial temperature ramping phase for each orientation, while a frozen history reduced the decline in stiffness of the wood specimens. Similar to the variations in E′, the dramatic loss of water increased the complexity of the E″ values. The loss of free water also had a pronounced effect on the viscoelastic properties during the temperature ramping process. Thus, in the wood industry, it necessary to consider the variations in the orthotropic viscoelastic performance of specimens under water-saturated conditions during the water loss process.

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