A Revaluation of Turkey Oak Wood (Quercus cerris L.) Through Combined Steaming and Thermo-vacuum Treatments

Silvia Ferrari, Ottaviano Allegretti, Ignazia Cuccui, Nicola Moretti, Mario Marra, Luigi Todaro

Abstract


Turkey oak is a wood species widely distributed in Southeastern Europe and in Italy, where it is mainly present in the Apennine Mountains. Compared to other oaks, Turkey oak is less valued because of its tendency to crack, its lower technological quality, and its lower durability. The aim of the present work was to improve wood quality by treating Turkey oak through combined steaming and thermal treatment under vacuum conditions. Wood was steamed at a temperature between 100 to 110 °C and thermally treated in vacuum at 160 °C using two different technologies, i.e., the press vacuum plant and the Termovuoto® plant. The treated material was characterized in terms of mass loss, color change, hygroscopicity, and compression strength for both heartwood and sapwood. Results slightly differed according to the treatment or combination of treatments adopted. In general, a significant increase in dimensional stability and an improved color homogenization were obtained together with the maintenance of a good wood quality. Concerning mechanical properties, thermo-vacuum treatment increased the compression strength, while steaming had the opposite effect.

Keywords


Turkey oak; Steaming; Thermo-vacuum treatment; Color; Equilibrium moisture content; Compression strength

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