Drying Tectona grandis Boards Using the Simulating Solar Kiln Conditions Technique

Khamtan Phonetip, Graham Ian Brodie, Douangta Bouaphavong, Latsamy Boupha, Somxay Khambouddaphan


Timber cracking, drying stress residuals, and the change of moisture content profile were investigated during the drying of Tectona grandis boards in a conventional laboratory kiln. The study applied a technique that simulated solar kiln conditions using a conventional laboratory kiln to dry timber, based on Vientiane’s climatic conditions (Laos). The theoretical recharge and discharge model was used to generate the potential drying schedule for the Vientiane area; then the drying schedule was mimicked in a conventional laboratory kiln. Timber cracking and drying stress residual were monitored and measured using Image J software, and the change of moisture content profile was determined, based on the oven dry method. Measured moisture content data were compared with the theoretical drying model. The results showed that teak boards, of 25 mm thick, had no cracking. The drying stress residual was 0.8 ± 0.3 mm with the maximum of 1.53 mm. The initial average moisture content of 62% decreased to 12% within 16 d, while the case and core moisture contents reached 12% and 14%, respectively. The drying model described the changes of moisture content profile during drying, with a maximal error of 5%.


Tectona grandis; Drying timber; Simulating solar kiln conditions; Solar drying schedule

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