Thermomechanical surface instability at the origin of surface fissure patterns onheated circular MDF samples

Andrea Ferrantelli, Djebar Baroudi, Sergei Khakalo, Kai Yuan Li (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    When a flat sample of medium density fibreboard (MDF) is exposed to radiant heat in an inert atmosphere, primarycrack patterns suddenly start to appear over the entire surface before pyrolysis and any charring occurs. Contrary tocommon belief that crack formation is due to drying and shrinkage, it was demonstrated for square samples that thisresults from thermomechanical instability.In the present paper, new experimental data are presented for circular samples of the same MDF material. Thesample was exposed to radiant heating at 20 or 50 kW/m2, and completely different crack patterns with independentEigenmodes were observed at the two heat fluxes. We show that the two patterns can be reproduced with a full 3-Dthermomechanical surface instability model of a hot layer adhered to an elastic colder foundation in an axisymmetricdomain. Analytical and numerical solutions of a simplified 2-D formulation of the same problem provide excellentqualitative agreement between observed and calculated patterns.Previous data for square samples together with the results reported in the present paper for circular samples confirmthe validity of the model for qualitative predictions, and indicate that further refinements can be made to improve itsquantitative predictive capability.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)707-716
    JournalFire and Materials
    Issue number6
    Early online date20 Jun 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under Grant No. 51876148. A.F. acknowledges the Estonian Research Council with Institutional research funding grant IUT1-15 and the Estonian Centre of Excellence in Zero Energy and Resource Efficient Smart Buildings and Districts, ZEBE, grant 2014-2020.4.01.15-0016 funded by the European Regional Development Fund. S.K. has been supported by the Academy of Finland through the project Adaptive isogeometric methods for thin-walled structures (decision numbers 270007, 273609, and 304122).


    • MDF cracking
    • Thermomechanical buckling
    • Analytical models
    • Heat transfer
    • Thermal effects


    Dive into the research topics of 'Thermomechanical surface instability at the origin of surface fissure patterns onheated circular MDF samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this