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WOOD CREEP/RELAXATION

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Some more food for thought on the question posed regarding the creep of the wood beam. My wood handbook by the United States Department of Agriculture 1972 states that "Unloading a member results in an immediate and complete recovery of the original elastic deformation and, after time, a recovery of approximately one-half of the creep deformation as well. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity increase the magnitude of the recovered deformation".

It is also interesting to point out that because of creep, for sufficiently high loads, failure will eventually occur. This is the reason for the duration of load factor in codes.

David Handy, P.Eng
The Thompson Rosemount Group