Defect detection and quality assessment of hardwood logs: Part 1⇔acoustic impact test and wavelet analysis

Feng Xu, Xiping Wang, Ed Thomas, Yunfei Liu, Brian K. Brashaw, Robert J. Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine the technical feasibility of combining acoustic wave data with high-resolution laser scanning data to improve the accuracy of defect detection and quality assessment in hardwood logs. This article (Part 1) focused on exploring the potential of an acoustic impact testing method coupled with advanced waveform analysis to detect internal decay of hardwood logs and classify logs in terms of log quality and potential board grade yields. Twenty-one yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) logs obtained from the Central Appalachian region were evaluated for internal soundness using an acoustic impact testing technique. These logs were then sawn into boards, and the boards were visually graded based on National Hardwood Lumber Association grading rules. The response signals of the logs from acoustic impact tests were analyzed through moment analysis and continuous wavelet transform to extract time-domain and frequency-domain parameters. The results indicated that the acoustic impact test coupled with wavelet analysis is a viable method to evaluate the internal soundness of hardwood logs. Log acoustic velocity alone was able to identify the very low-end logs that have the most severe internal rot or other unsound defects but failed to identify the logs with poor geometry that resulted in very low recovery. Time centroid, damping ratio, and combined time- and frequency-domain parameters were found effective in predicting log quality in terms of board grade yields. Log segregation based on time-domain (time centroid and ρ/Tc2) and frequency-domain (damping ratio and Ed2) parameters showed a positive correlation with the board grade yields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-309
Number of pages19
JournalWood and Fiber Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was conducted under the cooperative research agreement (14-JV-11111133-089) between the Natural Resources Research Institute of the University of Minnesota Duluth and the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. Mr. Feng Xu’s participation in this project was supported by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions and the Nanjing Forestry University Innovation Grant for Outstanding PhD Dissertations (grant no. 163070682). We thank Neal Bennett and Deborah Conner for their technical assistance during the project.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the Society of Wood Science and Technology.


  • Acoustic velocity
  • Board grade
  • Damping ratio
  • Dynamic MOE
  • Impact test
  • Log defects
  • Time centroid
  • Yellow-poplar


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