Ultrasonic shear waves were propagated through the breadth direction of a wood beam which was subjected to a bending load such that it was in a plane-stress state. The oscillation direction of the shear waves with respect to the wood beam axis was varied by rotating an ultrasonic sensor, and the relationship between the shear wave velocity and the oscillation direction was examined. The results indicate that when the oscillation direction of the shear wave corresponds to the tangential direction of the wood beam, the shear wave velocity decreases sharply and the relationship between shear wave velocity and rotation angle tends to become discontinuous. When the oscillation of the shear waves occurs in the anisotropic direction of the wood beam instead of in the direction of principal stress, the shear wave velocity exhibits a peak value. In addition, the polarization direction was found to correspond to the direction of anisotropy of the wood beam according to the theory of acoustoelastic birefringence with respect to plane stress. This indicates that when the acoustoelastic birefringence method is applied to stress measurement of wood, it is appropriate to align the oscillation direction of the shear wave with the principal axial direction of anisotropy in order to carry out ultrasonic measurement.
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