Radio Frequency Vacuum Drying of Eucalyptus nitens Juvenile Wood

Rubén A. Ananías, Victor Sepúlveda-Villarroel, Natalia Perez-Pena, José Torres-Mella, Linette Salvo-Sepúlveda, Darwin Castillo-Ulloa, Carlos Salinas-Lira

Abstract


Wood drying is an important process for adding value and manufacturing innovative products. Eucalyptus nitens wood is inherently difficult to dry because of its natural propensity for checking as well as collapse and shrinkage. Lumber recovery after industrial drying of eucalypts is also very low. This study measured the wood quality of E. nitens juvenile wood (13 mm thickness) after radio-frequency vacuum (RFV) drying and wood dried in a conventional kiln dryer (KD). Drying cycles were performed using a radio frequency vacuum dryer with a 3 m3 of capacity and convective kiln-dryer equipment with a 3.5 m3 of capacity. The results showed that the drying time using the radio frequency vacuum method was reduced by 47% when compared to conventional kiln drying. The shrinkage was significantly lower in the RFV than in the conventional KD. The volumetric collapse decreased by approximately 60% in the RFV drying. RFV drying of E. nitens juvenile wood improves the wood quality for solid wood products because the intensity of surface checking and collapse are reduced.

Keywords


Collapse; Drying costs; Drying defects; Drying time; Shrinkage; Wood drying

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