Dimensional Stabilization of Wood Originating from Small-diameter Trees through Heat Treatment

Cristina Marinela Olarescu, Mihaela Campean, Alin Olarescu


Small-diameter wood resulting from thinning operations is an important secondary wood resource. Compared to wood originating from mature trees of the same species, it is less stable in shape and dimension when exposed to environmental humidity changes. To reduce its hygroscopicity and valorize this secondary wood resource in solid wood panels for outdoor use, wood samples cut from mature and small-diameter spruce, black pine, lime, and beech logs were heat-treated at 180 and 200 °C for 1 to 6 h in air at atmospheric pressure. Mass loss, swelling coefficients, and anti-swelling efficiency (ASE) were established for each wood type for a comparison between species. Mature and small-diameter wood was also compared under the influence of different temperature/time combinations. The heat treatment conditions that led to a mass loss of maximum 5% in each case were: 200 °C/3.5 h (mature spruce), 200 °C/5 h (thin spruce), 200 °C/3 h (mature pine), 200°C/3.7 h (thin pine), 200 °C/3.2 h (mature lime), 200 °C/2h (thin lime), 200°C/3 h (mature beech), and 200 °C/2.7 h (thin beech). Small-diameter spruce, pine, and lime (the soft species) recorded better dimensional stabilization than the mature wood of each species (ASEvol=49.7% compared to 39.3% for spruce, 38.6% compared to 38% for pine, 52.3% compared to 44.4% for lime), while small-diameter beech behaved differently (with ASEvol=43.5% compared to 48.5 for the mature wood).


Small-diameter wood; Heat treatment; Dimensional stabilization

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