Chang-Hua Fang, Pierre Blanchet, Alain Cloutier, Costel Barbuta


High-density wood is required in wood flooring, especially in engineered wood flooring (EWF) designed for heavy-duty applications. However, high-density wood resources are limited and their cost is high. A densification treatment makes it possible for low- or moderate-density woods to replace harder species by modifying them into high-performance and high-value products, such as engineered wood flooring for heavy-duty applications. The general objective of this study was to develop a prototype of engineered wood flooring using sugar maple hygro-thermally densified surface layers. The results showed that thin sugar maple lumber densified at 200 °C under the combined effects of steam, heat, and pressure with a heat-resistant fabric had great potential for the manufacturing of engineered wood flooring for heavy-duty use. As a result of treatment, it acquired high density, improved mechanical properties, and it had a relatively high dimensional stability and an attractive color. Tests in conditioning rooms showed that the EWF with a densified sugar maple (Acer saccharum March.) surface layer presented the lowest amplitude distortion between the dry and humid conditions compared with the standard EWF (0.15 mm vs. 0.17mm and 0.25 mm).


Engineered wood flooring, Wood densification, Compression, Sugar maple

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