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Wood Beams - Strength of Material

Bending and compression strength of wood species used in beams

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Compression and bending strengths of wood species typically used in beams:

Maximum Stress (psi)
Wood SpeciesBendingCompression
Horizontal Shear
- τ -
Perpendicular to Grain
- σ -
Parallel to Grain
- σ -
WetDryWetDryWetDry
Birch, Yellow 1417 1668 477 715 960 1200
Fir, Douglas 1417 1668 417 625 1360 1700
Larch, Western 1417 1668 417 625 1360 1700
Maple, Red 1271 1495 410 615 880 1100
Oak, Black 1369 1610 590 885 920 1150
Pine, Eastern White 1222 1438 223 335 960 1200
Redwood 1320 1553 433 650 1200 1500
  • 1 psi (lb/in2) = 6895 Pa (N/m2)
  • 1 MPa = 106 Pa
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