Characteristic v design material properties

Characteristic v design material properties

Date Published

10 August 2022

Document Type




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The use of characteristic values in identifying material properties is fundamental to the Eurocodes design basis. Characteristic values generally correspond to a specified fractile of an assumed statistical distribution, usually the lower 5th percentile of a normal distribution.

Through an important Eurocodes principle, safe design values for material properties
are obtained by dividing the characteristic value by a partial factor. This unit gives an
introduction to these two concepts as used in timber design to Eurocode 5.

Key Information

This unit explained the background for the characteristic property values. It then highlighted the difference between characteristic values and design values as used in design calculations and explained the general method described in Eurocode 5 to calculate the design values of materials properties of timber.