Journal article Open Access
The fracture properties of thermally modified beech (Fagus sylvatica) wood (TMW) at 180° and 200°C were evaluated in mode II using the three-point end-notched flexure (3ENF) scheme assisted by threedimensional (3D) stereovision equipment for obtaining displacements and strains. The compliance-based beam method (CBBM) provided the strain energy release rates (GII) of TMW and cohesive laws for both native wood (W) and TMW. Based on the CBBM and equivalent crack length approach (ECLA), GII was obtained directly from the forcedeflection data. The thermal modification (TM) process reduced the compressive strength by 4.4% and increased the compressive elastic modulus by 38.3%, whereas GII was reduced substantially by 40.8% and 67.9% at TM180°C and TM200°C, respectively. TM also increased wood brittleness that was visible on the displacement slip reduction. The resulting mean cohesive models can be used for numerical analyses. The fracture properties of TMW have to be taken into consideration for constructional wood application, when cyclic loading may lead to microcracking and material fatigue.