Some physical and mechanical properties of wood of Fast-growing tree species eucalyptus (Eucalyptus grandis) and radiata pine (Pinus radiata D.Don)
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Fast-growing imported plantation tree species have become an available wood resource for Europe’s wood industry in the last decades. This sustainable alternative may reduce the gap between the increasing demand for and decreasing supply of the local tree species. The aim of the study was to determine and compare basic physical and mechanical properties of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus grandis) wood from Uruguay and radiata pine (Pinus radiata D.Don) wood from New Zealand as an alternative for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) from Latvia, to produce non– structural semi–finished glued laminated timber members for the manufacturing of windows. Such properties as density, swelling, bending strength, bending modulus of elasticity, compression strength and resistance to impact were determined according to ISO 13061 series standards test methods for small clear wood specimens. As the result of this study it was established that there is not significant difference between the majority of radiata pine and Scots pine properties, with the exception of resistance to impact and radial swelling where radiata pine shows significantly higher values. Not surprisingly all the properties of deciduous eucalyptus wood were significantly higher compared to both coniferous tree species. Higher swelling and density properties of eucalyptus compared to radiata pine and Scots pine should be taken into consideration for the design and production of wooden window elements.