Effect of Steaming on Some Properties of Compressed Oil Palm Trunk Lumber

Nurjannah Salim, Rokiah Hashim, Othman Sulaiman, Noor Afeefah Nordin, Mazlan Ibrahim, Hazizan Md Akil, Masatoshi Sato, Tomoko Sugimoto, Salim Hiziroglu


Compressed lumber is considered to be a superior structural material due to its uniform properties and higher strength than other solid timbers. This study presents the effect of steaming on some properties of compressed lumber of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) trunks (OPT). The specimens were steamed at a temperature of 130 ⁰C for 2 hours before being compressed in a hot press and evaluated for their physical and mechanical properties. Compressed OPT without steaming was used as a comparison sample to compare the effect of steaming on compressed OPT. The average modulus of rupture of steamed compressed OPT samples was 31.36 MPa, which was 8.7% higher than the compressed OPT without steaming samples. The modulus of elasticity was determined to be 8919 MPa, 9.9% higher than the compressed OPT samples. Steaming enhanced the dimensional properties of the samples. Thickness swelling and water absorption of the steamed compressed OPT samples were 6.57% and 33.84%, respectively, lower than those of the samples without steaming. Some other properties such as compression strength, dynamic bending strength, and the compression and recovery ratios were also evaluated. Scanning electron micrographs taken from the cross section of the samples showed a clear difference between the compressed and uncompressed oil palm.


Compressed lumber; Oil palm trunk; Steaming; Mechanical; Physical; Dimensional stability

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