Adam L. Redman, Henri Bailleres, Ian Turner, Patrick Perré


Characterization of mass transfer properties was achieved in the longitudinal, radial, and tangential directions for four Australian hardwood species: spotted gum, blackbutt, jarrah, and messmate. Measurement of mass transfer properties for these species was necessary to complement current vacuum drying modeling research. Water-vapour diffusivity was determined in steady state using a specific vapometer. Permeability was determined using a specialized device developed to measure over a wide range of permeability values. Permeability values of some species and material directions were extremely low and undetectable by the mass flow meter device. Hence, a custom system based on volume evolution was conceived to determine very low, previously unpublished, wood permeability values. Mass diffusivity and permeability were lowest for spotted gum and highest for messmate. Except for messmate in the radial direction, the four species measured were less permeable in all directions than the lowest published figures, demonstrating the high impermeability of Australian hardwoods and partly accounting for their relatively slow drying rates. Permeability, water-vapour diffusivity, and associated anisotropic ratio data obtained for messmate were extreme or did not follow typical trends and is consequently the most difficult of the four woods to dry in terms of collapse and checking degradation.


Mass diffusivity; Permeability; Mass transfer; Hardwood; Anisotropy

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