Mechanical testing of wood-glass composite mast sections

Flannigan, A. and Offord, S.J.J. and Orr, S.W. and Wheel, Marcus (2007) Mechanical testing of wood-glass composite mast sections. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part L: Journal of Materials: Design and Applications, 221 (2). pp. 45-52. ISSN 1464-4207 (

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Glass fibre-sheathed wood cored composite materials may offer a lightweight, stiff alternative to carbon fibre for manufacturing masts for sailing dinghies. However, at present, very little data quantifying the mechanical response of these materials when loaded is available. Before manufacturing a prototype mast from these materials, it is necessary to acquire such data and determine how the various fabrication parameters influence the behaviour of these materials when loaded. To address this need, a series of wood-glass composite tubular structures representative of typical mast sections were constructed and loaded in a suitable testing machine. This paper reports the results of these tests and discusses how the parameters investigated influence the stiffness and strength of the structures. The results provide useful data on which to base the design of prototype masts.