DENSIFICATION OF WOOD VENEERS COMBINED WITH OIL-HEAT TREATMENT. PART I: DIMENSIONAL STABILITY

Chang-Hua Fang, Alain Cloutier, Pierre Blanchet, Ahmed Koubaa, Nicolas Mariotti

Abstract


Although wood densification by compression improves wood mechanical strength, dimensional stability is often a problem due to compression recovery. Alternatively, oil-heat treatment (OHT) improves wood dimensional stability and enhances resistance to biological attack. This study examined combined wood densification and OHT. Large wood veneer 700 × 700 mm specimens prepared with aspen (Populus tremuloides) were densified using heat, steam, and pressure at 160ºC, 180ºC, and 200°C, respectively. OHT at 180ºC, 200ºC, and 220ºC for 1, 2, and 3h was then applied to the densified veneers. Results show that OHT efficiently improved dimensional stability and reduced compression set recovery. OHT temperature and duration markedly influenced the reduction of compression set recovery: the higher the OHT temperature and duration, the lower the recovery. Less than 5% recovery was obtained under various OHT conditions, and almost 0% recovery under some OHT conditions. Radial and tangential swellings of densified veneers were reduced dramatically. Compared to OHT duration, OHT temperature had a pronounced higher impact on radial and tangential swelling. Irreversible swelling (IS) in the compression direction of densified veneers decreased after OHT, particularly with high temperature and long duration, and anti-swelling efficiency (ASE) in the compression direction improved significantly.

Keywords


Wood densification; Heat treatment; Compression; Veneer; Aspen; Dimensional stability

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