Wood exhibits anisotropic swelling and shrinking upon changes of wood moisture content (MC). By manufacturing bi-layered structures with adapted grain orientation in the two bonded layers, humidity-driven actuators are generated, which have the potential to be used for autonomous climate adaptive building with tile. The present study deals with design principles for upscaling the size of the bilayers and for increasing the rate of MC change and, thus, rate of shape change. Wood bilayers with widths of up to half a meter were subjected to changes of relative humidity (RH). Moisture and curvature changes were recorded. Bilayers with different widths showed curvature exclusively along their length. Next to this, the performance was compared between bilayers with and without milled-in grooves. These grooves lead to shorter diffusion paths along fibre direction for increasing the rate of MC change. The highest rates of MC change were visible for the samples with the smallest width within the first hours after change of RH. Later on, all samples showed similar rates. The milling of grooves increased the moisture change rate substantially compared to the non-milled samples resulting in a higher rate of curvature change. The increase is especially pronounced for cyclic changes of RH. This study shows that, by applying material specific design principles, the shape change of wood bilayers can be adapted and the rate of the MC change can be increased by keeping diffusion paths short along fibre direction. These principles may facilitate the use of large-scale wood bilayers as lamellae in shading systems.
Materials and Structures – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 29, 2017
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