Changes in the velocity of ultrasonic waves propagating in wood normal to the direction of applied stresses are discussed. The ultrasonic modes considered here are longitudinal waves and shear waves with particle motion along the direction of the applied stress. The ultrasonic velocities in wood were measured by the sing-around method. From the results of the acoustoelastic experiments in wood, changes in the ultrasonic velocities were expressed as a function of the applied stress. For the shear waves, the ultrasonic velocities decreased with an increase in compressive stress from the initial stress level. On the other hand, the ultrasonic velocities under tensile stress increased with an increase in stress at low stress levels and then gradually decreased with further a increase in the stress. In contrast, the longitudinal wave velocities increased with an increase in compressive stress at low stress levels and then decreased with additional increase in the stress. The wave velocities under a tensile stress decreased with an increase in the stress. The proportional relations between velocities and stresses at low stress levels are confirmed, and acoustoelastic constants were obtained from these relations. Their absolute values were smaller than those reported in previous studies but larger than those of metals. The acoustoelastic effect seemed to be almost equivalent on the sensitivity for stress measurement as the strain-gauge method.
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