Effects of Pressurized Superheated-steam Heat Treatment on Set Recovery and Mechanical Properties of Surface-compressed Wood

Zhiqiang Gao, Rongfeng Huang, Jianmin Chang, Ren Li, Yanmei Wu

Abstract


The recovery behavior and selected mechanical properties were studied for Populus tomentosa wood subjected to surface compression followed by heat treatment. The surface compression of wood was carried out in an open hot-pressing system at 180 °C with compressed thickness of 2 to 18 mm. The surface-compressed wood was treated by atmospheric heat treatment or 0.30 MPa pressurized superheated-steam heat treatment at 180 °C for 2 h. The results showed that the set recovery of compressed wood decreased with increasing compressed thickness before post-treatment. Atmospheric and pressurized heat treatment reduced the average set recovery of compressed wood significantly from 12.9% to 4.1% and 1.5% respectively, after conditioning at 40 °C and 90% relative humidity. Moreover, mechanical properties including the modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), hardness, and surface hardness increased with elevating compressed thickness. Both atmospheric and pressurized heat treatment reduced the MOR, hardness, and surface hardness of compressed wood. Analysis of variance showed that the effects of heat treatment on mechanical properties was not significant, except pressurized heat treatment decreased hardness significantly. With a compressed thickness of 10 mm, MOE, MOR, hardness and surface hardness were increased by 52.6%, 36.4%, 122.0% and 129.6%, respectively, compared with untreated wood.

Keywords


Surface compression; Pressurized superheated-steam; Compressed thickness; Set recovery; Mechanical properties

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