High-Pressure Treatment of Chinese Fir Wood: Effect on Density, Mechanical Properties, Humidity-Related Moisture Migration, and Dimensional Stability

Huanhuan Li, Fengming Zhang, Hosahalli S. Ramaswamy, Songming Zhu, Yong Yu


A new densification technique for industrial uses of plantation wood was studied. Chinese fir wood was treated by high pressure (HP) at 50 to 200 MPa for 5 min. The density and mechanical properties, moisture sorption isotherm (MSI), and dimensional changes of the pressure-treated wood under various relative humidity (RH) storage conditions were evaluated. The densities of HP-treated wood ranged from 0.79 ± 0.01 g/cm3 after treatment at 50 MPa to 0.92 ± 0.02 g/cm3 at 200 MPa, which was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of the control (0.35 ± 0.01 g/cm3). Hardness values in radial and tangential fiber alignment faces also significantly increased by 370% to 470% and 350% to 460%, respectively, as compared with the control. The modulus of elasticity and the modulus of rupture of pressure-treated wood increased by 48% to 88% and 89% to 170%, respectively. The equilibrium moisture content varied with RH, decreasing slightly at 33% and 52% while significantly increasing (p < 0.001) at 86% and 93% RH. Radial, tangential, and volumetric dimensions of densified wood were relatively stable at 33%, 52%, and 67% RH, while remarkable swelling occurred at 86% and 93% RH.


High-pressure treatment; Chinese fir wood; Density; Mechanical properties; Moisture sorption isotherm; Dimensional changes

Full Text: PDF

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