Static and time-dependent mechanical behaviour of preserved archaeological wood: Case studies of the seventeenth century warship Vasa

  • Datum: 31 mars, kl. 09.00–12.00
  • Plats: Polhemssalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala
  • Doktorand: Vorobyev, Alexey
  • Om avhandlingen
  • Arrangör: Tillämpad mekanik
  • Kontaktperson: Vorobyev, Alexey
  • Disputation

Wooden objects have been widely used in the history of humanity and play an important role in our cultural heritage. The preservation of such objects is of great importance and can be a challenging task. This thesis investigates the static and time-dependent mechanical behaviour of archaeological oak wood from the Vasa warship.

Characterisation of mechanical properties is necessary for the formulation of a numerical model to design an improved support structure. The ship was impregnated with polyethylene glycol (PEG) for dimensional stabilisation. All elastic engineering constants of the Vasa oak have been identified and compared with those of recent oak by means of the static and dynamic testing. The experiments were done on samples with cubic geometry, which allowed obtaining all elastic constants from a single sample. The usage of cubic samples with orthotropic mechanical properties during compressive experiments was validated with finite-element simulations. The Young's moduli of the Vasa oak in all orthotropic directions were smaller than those for the recent oak. The shear moduli of Vasa oak was determined and verified with the resonant ultrasound spectroscopy. The time-dependent mechanical behaviour of the Vasa oak has been studied. Creep studies were performed in uniaxial compression on the cubic samples in all orthotropic directions. The samples loaded in the longitudinal direction were subjected to different stress levels. A stress level below 15% of the yield stress in the longitudinal direction did not result in non-linear creep with increasing creep rates within the time frame of the tests. The results of the studies in radial and tangential directions showed that creep was dominated by the effect of annual fluctuations in relative humidity and temperature. The weight changes based on annual fluctuations of relative humidity were measured for Vasa oak and recent oak. The Vasa oak showed higher variations due to an increased hygroscopicity which is the result of the impregnation with PEG. In conceiving a full-scale finite-element model of Vasa ship, not only the stress-strain relations of the material but also those of the structural joints are needed. Since the in-situ measurement of joints is not an option, a replica of a section of the ship hull was built and tested mechanically. The load-induced displacements were measured using 3D laser scanning which proved to have advantages to conventional point displacement measurements. The mechanical characteristics of the Vasa oak and joint information presented in this work can be used as input for a finite-element model of the Vasa ship for simulation of static and time-dependent behaviour on a larger scale.