A bending-compression device has been designed with the help of the ABAQUS/Standard finite element code for studying the mechanical behavior of structural elements under complex loading. A description of the device and its principle are presented. Samples are instrumented with the aim of a better comprehension of the damage mechanisms up to rupture. Current strain on the middle of the upper and lower faces and acoustic emission (AE) signals is collected. A coupled analysis of the mechanical and physical responses are made related to visual observations. Results are illustrated in the case of spruce beams loaded under bending up to rupture with the bending moment along the direction perpendicular to the annual rings.
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