Date of Graduation
Subsurface defects in wooden logs such as knots, decays, splits, embedded metallic nails and bullets are of major concern to timber saw mills. Presence of these defects decreases the value of the sawn lumber boards. Also, the factory down time and operation cost increases significantly whenever the saw blade is damaged by encountering embedded metals during the sawing process. This study has been conducted to assess the possibility of detecting subsurface defects in logs using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) before the sawing process. GPR radargrams obtained from several wooden logs using different scanning techniques and analysis methods were investigated. These methods included scanning of both the circular and canted logs and using 900 MHz and 1600 MHz frequency antennas. The GPR radargrams obtained using different scanning configurations and antenna frequencies were analyzed using both 2D and 3D imaging techniques. The study showed that metals and defects inside the log can be precisely detected and located using GPR. Moreover, use of newer 3D interpretation techniques showed the possibility of determining even the orientation and extent of the defects inside the log. Similar to wooden logs, there is also a need to identify the defects within the FRP composites. Debonds and entrapped moisture in the FRP wrapped members often reduce their strength and stiffness performance. Hence the 2D and 3D methodology developed for wooden logs was extended to FRP composites for subsurface defect detection. The study showed that GPR based system is suitable for use in timber saw mills to map hidden defects (e.g., knots, decays) and foreign objects (e.g., metallic nails) in wooden logs prior to sawing, so that the yield of high-value defect-free lumber can be maximized. It can also be used as a fast nondestructive tool to detect subsurface moisture and debonds and monitor the in-situ condition of FPR wrapped members.
Pyakurel, Sandeep, "Two-dimensional and three-dimensional GPR imaging of wood and fiber reinforced polymer composites." (2009). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9604.