AbstractThis study investigates the bonding behaviour of Norway spruce wood strands to a surrounding cement matrix. Effects of wood swelling and shrinking during cement curing were studied by using strands of various thicknesses. The deformation of the spruce wood strands and the surrounding cement matrix, as well as the interface between the wood and the cement were examined using Electronic Laser Speckle Interferometry (ESPI) while applying a pull-out load. Sample deformation was transformed to shear strain maps, showing which side of the strand was tightly bonded to the cement matrix. The analysis of the strain maps proved that all strands were tightly bonded to the cement matrix on only one side. No shear deformation was observed on the loosely bonded side, meaning that there was no adhesion on that side between the wood strand and the cement matrix. Manufacturing of strands results in different surface characteristics and surface roughness. Bringing together the ESPI results with the roughness measurements, it was shown that only the comparably rougher surface adheres to the cement matrix. In a cement bonded composite (CBC) made of lignocellulosics to a greater or lesser extent, only half of the contact area is therefore able to transfer load.