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Hardwood is a wood-based material. It has the lowest heat capacity and a moderately high tensile strength relative to other wood-based materials. The graph bars on the material properties cards below compare hardwood to other wood-based materials (top) and the entire database (bottom).

Mechanical Properties

Compressive (Crushing) Strength

40 MPa 5.8 x 103 psi

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

12 GPa 1.7 x 106 psi

Elongation at Break

2.0 %

Poisson's Ratio


Shear Modulus

0.9 GPa 0.13 x 106 psi

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

80 MPa 12 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Specific Heat Capacity

1260 J/kg-K 0.3 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Conductivity

0.16 W/m-K 0.093 BTU/h-ft-°F

Thermal Expansion

6.0 µm/m-K

Other Material Properties


0.7 g/cm3 44 lb/ft3

Dielectric Strength (Breakdown Potential)

0.5 kV/mm 0.020 V/mil

Common Calculations

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

9.5 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

110 points

Strength to Weight: Axial

32 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

59 points

Thermal Diffusivity

0.18 m2/s

Thermal Shock Resistance

79 points

Followup Questions

Further Reading

Wood Handbook: Wood as an Engineering Material, Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, 1999