Advantages & disadvantages of Wood as a Structural Material:

Strength of wood, Properties affecting Strength of Timber, Properties affecting Strength of wood

There advantages & disadvantages of Wood as a Structural Material. Wood is widely used material. Wood is strong and has good strength of wood, since it is used as structural materials.

Advantages & disadvantages of Wood as a Structural Material

1. Advantages of Wood :

There are so many advantages of wood, as it is traditionally used material. Wood is the material being used since ages. some of the advantages of Wood as a Structural Material are listed below,

1. It is a natural resource, and also against other mining material can be grown making it readily available and economically feasible. It is remarkably strong in relation to its weight, and it provides good insulation from the cold.

2. Wood is highly machinable, and can be fabricated into all kinds of shapes and sizes to fit practically any construction and structural need.

3. Wood is also the perfect example of an environmentally sustainable product; it is biodegradable and renewable, and carries the lowest carbon footprint of any comparable building material.

In addition, no high-energy fossil fuels are required to produce wood, unlike other common building materials such as brick, steel or plastic.

4. Wood has certain favorable properties, which give it an advantage in terms of its resistance to high temperatures. Unlike steel, which can expand or even collapse in high heat, wood actually dries out and becomes stronger as the heat increases.

5. Wood also contains highly-sought-after acoustic properties, making it good as a load bearing and at the same time a panel material for Concert Halls.

6. An important characteristic of wood is its tensile strength, which is its ability to bend under pressure without breaking.

Wood is exceptionally light in proportion to its tensile strength, making it the preferred construction choice for surfaces that take a constant beating such as basketball courts and bowling lanes.
Tensile strength is also one of the main reasons for choosing timber as a building material; its remarkably strong qualities make it the perfect choice for heavy-duty building materials such as structural beams.

7. Wood does not practically expand against heat (In comparison to steel). On the contrary, by the effect of heat, it dries out and gains strength. The only time wood expands a little is when the humidity level is below 0%, and this is only scientifically significant. In practice, the humidity level of wood does not drop under 5% even in the driest climate.

8. Wood is a decorative material when considered as an aesthetic material. Each tree has its own color, design and smell. The design of a tree does change according to the way it is sliced. It is possible to find different wooden materials according to color and design preference. It can be painted to darker colors of varnished, and can be given bright or mat touches.

9. Wood is a Durable Material but generally assumed that it is perishable and therefore only suitable for temporary structures. This cannot be true as is evidenced from century old timber built structures and bridges. Wood if properly protected from attack by fungi, insects, borers does not change its strength and properties with time.

If years of satisfactory service are a measure of permanence No other Material is more permanent than Timber.

Disadvantages of Wood :

Disadvantages of Wood are a few disadvantages but they are easy to disregard, and eliminate as long as the cause is known

1. Shrinkage and Swelling of Wood:

Wood is a hygroscopic material. This means that it will adsorb surrounding condensable vapors and loose moisture to air below the fiber saturation point.

2. Deterioration of Wood:

Wood can have biotic degradation (mold fungi, bacteria and insects) and Abiotic degradation (Sun, wind, water, certain chemicals and fire).

3. Wood easily catches fire.

  • Wood consists of organic compounds which are composed mainly of carbonand hydrogen. They can combine with oxygen and burns. When combined with oxygen and a temperature between 250 and 270 degrees Celsius, wood can start to burn even without a flame. Wood is classified as a combustible material because of these properties.
  • Chemical materials, especially extractives in woods structure cause the burning point to change. Fire resistance can also be improved by either impregnating wood with some chemicals or coating the wood with a non-combustible paint
  • Using thick wood as a structural element is another way of extension of burning point. Outer surface burns and turns into charcoal. Charcoal, which forms on the surface of wood as it burns, is a very effective heat insulator. Therefore large timbers burn very slowly. In addition to this, wood is very good heat insulator too.
  • The life of a Timber Structure is long if maintained either dry or wet continuously

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