Estimating hardness of eucalyptus wood with a portable hardness tester
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More than 80% of the 29600 km of the Brazilian railroad mesh employs wooden sleepers. The problem of hard availability of native wood for this purpose leads to the alternative use of reforestation species to produce sleepers. Considering the great difficulty to, in field condition, evaluate characteristics that are of major importance to define its suitability to sleeper production the Research Group on Forest Products from FCA/UNESP - Brazil had developed equipment for field evaluation of hardness in wood - Portable Hardness Tester. This paper reports the functional validation tests, performed with different species of Eucalyptus. Results revealed the equipment great functionality, easy-to-use characteristics and applicability to Eucalyptus wood. Moderate to strong relationships between laboratory and validated values of hardness were found. The best validation model was obtained using the data provided by the experimental dispositive 3 (R2=0.74 and SSE= 7.71 kJ/m2) while the experimental dispositive 1 gave the worse validation (R2=0.55 and SSE= 13.46 kJ/m2).