Modeling stress wave passage times in wood utility poles

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Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


The objective of this study was to develop an appropriate mathematical model to study the behavior of the stress waves in the radial-tangential plane of utility poles. It is hoped that such a study could increase the ability to use the sonic testing method in field testing procedures. A two-dimensional plane strain finite element program with dynamic capabilities was used in the study. At this point in the model development, homogeneous isotropic material properties were assumed. The pattern and duration of passage time through the pole was adequately modeled, particularly in regions on the circumference removed by more than 90 degrees from the location of impact. The model studies indicate that with more research it might be possible to develop a field testing procedure using the sonic testing method which could distinguish between large ringshake and advanced decay.

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Wood Science and Technology