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Wood - Compressive Strength vs. Moisture Content

Red Spruce, Longleaf Pine and Douglas Fir - moisture content and their compressive strength.

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Moisture content influence compressive (parallel to grain) strength of Red Spruce, Longleaf Pine and Douglas Fir:

wood moisture content versur compressive strength

Indicated strengths are relative to wood containing 2% moisture. 

  • Red Spruce - air dried : 14% moisture content, kiln dried : 6% moisture content
  • Longleaf Pine - green wood : 20 % moisture content
  • Douglas Fir - green wood : 24 % moisture content

Example - Compressive Strength of Moist Spruce

The compressive strenght of spruce is normally in the range 18 - 39 MPa (2610 - 5655 psi). The diagram above indicatees that maximum strengt is reduced to 50% for spruce with 16% moisture. The reduced range can be calculated as

[18 - 39 MPa (2610 - 5655 psi)] * 0.5

                       = 9 - 19.5 MPa (1305 - 2828 psi)

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  • Engineering ToolBox, (2009). Wood - Compressive Strength vs. Moisture Content. [online] Available at: [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

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