Effect of Steam Explosion Treatment on Impregnation of Three Species of Softwoods: North American Spruce, Korean Pine, and Japanese Larch



Steam explosion, Impregnation, Spruce, Korean pine, Japanese larch


Effects of steam explosion were investigated relative to impregnation of wood. Three types of softwoods [North American spruce (Picea orientalis), Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), and Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi)] were prepared and subjected to steam explosion treatment. The cross-sectional surfaces of the samples were observed with SEM, and their open-pore and closed-pore porosities were determined using a gas pycnometer. The softwoods were vacuum impregnated using ACQ-2 (Alkaline Copper Quaternary), a commercial preservative. After steam explosion treatment, the impregnation amount increased by 42.9% in the spruce and 155% in the Korean pine. However, there was no significant difference in the Japanese larch. The results from this study indicated that the steam explosion treatment helped to improve open-pore porosity by generating micro-cracks in the cell walls of softwoods, which improved the impregnation process. However, the degree of improvement in impregnation process differed by the species type.







Research Article or Brief Communication