Physical and Colorimetric Changes in Eucalyptus grandis Wood after Heat Treatment

Antonio José Vinha Zanuncio, Javan Pereira Motta, Teodorico Alves da Silveira, Elias De Sá Farias, Paulo Fernando Trugilho


Planted forests can meet the world’s demand for wood. In Brazil, eucalypt species are cultivated on a large scale, but their dimensional instability and color limit their use, which makes heat treatment necessary. The aim of this study was to evaluate physical and colorimetric properties of Eucalyptus grandis after heat treatment at 140, 170, 200, and 230 °C for 3 h. Mass loss, shrinkage, equilibrium moisture content, volumetric swelling, fiber saturation point (FSP), and colorimetric parameters were determined; photos were also taken with a scanning electron microscope for all treatments. Heat treatment reduced the wood mass by 0.33 to 10.64% and caused shrinkage by 0.23 to 5.16%. Treatment at 230 C reduced oven dry density. Equilibrium moisture content was 9.40, 9.34, 8.55, 6.55, and 5.05% for control and test samples treated at 140, 170, 200, and 230 °C, respectively. Heat treatment reduced thickness swelling and FSP by 59.65% and 56.31%, respectively. Heat treatment also reduced the L* (lightness), a* (green–red coordinate), and b* (blue–yellow coordinate) values of the wood samples. Heat treatment improved physical properties and darkened the wood; however, the damage observed in scanning electron microscope images could reduce the mechanical properties of wood.


Equilibrium moisture; Eucalyptus grandis; Heat treatment; Lightness; Volumetric swelling

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