Modeling the Air-drying Rate of Chinese Larch Lumber

Jun Hua, Lin Ju, Liping Cai, Sheldon Q. Shi

Abstract


To help protect the environment and reduce energy consumption in the wood industry, air-drying has been used to pre-dry lumber to about 30% moisture content. An air-drying model based on the principle of diffusivity was developed to help estimate air-drying times more accurately. Because the moisture movement rate considerably differs from that which occurs during kiln drying, the effective diffusion coefficients were experimentally determined at different temperatures. A user-friendly computer program predicting air-drying times was developed using the control volume method. The model was experimentally confirmed by air-drying practices. This program is a powerful tool used to estimate the air-drying times for any final moisture content for larch lumber, at any time of the year, at any location where the historical meteorological data, such as temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed, is available. This tool enables mill managers to generate an optimal operation plan based on their kiln capacity, yard availability, inventory requirements, and weather conditions.

Keywords


Air-drying of larch; Effective diffusion coefficients; Estimation of drying times; Modeling

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