Water Absorption and Dimensional Stability of Heat-treated Fast-growing Hardwoods

• Accepted : 2019.08.10
• Published : 2019.09.25
• 5 1

Abstract

A common problem with fast-growing hardwoods is dimensional instability that limits use of their wood. In this study, we investigated the effects of pre-drying methods, temperatures, and heating duration on the specific gravity, water absorption, and dimensional stability of three tropical fast-growing hardwoods, jabon (Neolamarckia cadamba Roxb.), sengon (Falcataria moluccana Miq.), and mangium (Acacia mangium Willd.). Wood samples were pre-dried by two methods (fan and oven at $40^{\circ}C$), and heat treatments were performed at three temperatures (120, 150, and $180^{\circ}C$) for two different time periods (2 and 6 hours). The specific gravity, water absorption, dimensional stability, and structural changes of the samples were evaluated. The results revealed that heat treatments slightly reduced the specific gravity of all three wood species. In addition, the heat treatments reduced water absorption and significantly improved dimensional stability of the samples. Oven pre-drying followed by heat treatment at $180^{\circ}C$ for 6 hours resulted in good physical improvement of jabon and sengon wood. Fan pre-drying followed by heat treatment at $180^{\circ}C$ for 2 hours improved the physical properties of mangium wood. The heat treatment shows a promising technique for improving the physical characteristic of fast growing hardwoods.

Keywords

microcheck;physical properties;swelling;wood modification;wood ultrastructure