The properties of reaction wood differ anatomically, physically, mechanically and chemically from normal wood. The observed extent of differences varies among species. Therefore, typologies beyond the conventional definition of compression and tension wood were elaborated.
This Working Group provided the link between the other Working Groups by addressing some aspects of the structure-properties relationship in wood and paper, with special focus given to the extreme cases represented by reaction wood, without neglecting other sources of variation such as juvenile wood.
Furthermore, this Working Group worked on the experimental characterisation of all types of unusual tissues at various scales, and the development of mechanical models attempting to explain the differences. For instance characterisation of cell wall properties through the following approaches was encouraged:
- Micromechanical testing
- Finite element analysis (FEA)
- Mechanical event simulation (MES)
- Micro-macro and homogenisation.
Although devoted to basic aspects of material properties, this Working Group addressed the practical concerns of the wood and paper industries, by developing the background knowledge necessary to address problems related to natural variability and reaction wood occurrence. Therefore scientists involved in these two sectors participated actively in this Working Group.