Time-Domain Reflectometry for the Prediction of Loblolly Pine and Sweetgum Moisture Content

Joseph Dahlen, Finto Antony, Anzhi Li, Kim Love-Myers, Laurence Schimleck, Erik B. Schilling


Time-domain reflectometry (TDR) can be used to predict the moisture content in porous materials, including soil, and is an exciting tool that could be used to measure the moisture content in wet-stored wood. Three-rod probes with 127 mm- or 152 mm-long rods were inserted into 62 loblolly pine and 34 sweetgum saturated bolts. The bolts were air dried over a span of five weeks. TDR waveforms and moisture content were periodically recorded. In total, 534 and 482 readings were taken for the loblolly pine and sweetgum bolts, respectively. An algorithm in R was written to automatically analyze the apparent length of the TDR rods. Calibration models were developed between moisture content and X (apparent length / actual rod length). A three-parameter logistic model was developed for loblolly pine (R2=0.64) and sweetgum (R2=0.84). The process was repeated using shorter bolts and 152 mm-long rods, resulting in improved models for loblolly pine (R2=0.99) and sweetgum (R2=0.97). Overall, TDR and the algorithm written to analyze the waveforms were accurate in predicting moisture content and could be used to monitor moisture in wet-decks.


Fiber saturation point; Nondestructive testing; Pulp and paper; Southern pine; Wet-decks; Wet-storage; Wood physics

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126