Effects of Temperature and Moisture Content of Logs on Size Distribution of Black Spruce Chips Produced by a Chipper-canter at Two Cutting Widths

Imen Elloumi, Roger E. Hernandez, Claudia B. Cáceres, Carl Blais

Abstract


Four matched groups of black spruce logs were processed with a chipper-canter at temperatures of 20, 0, -10, and -20 °C. Each log was transformed at two moisture contents (MC, green and air-dried) using two cutting widths (CW, 12.7 and 25.4 mm). Mean MC for each CW was assessed from a sample of the obtained chips. Knot characteristics were measured on the cant surfaces after log processing. Chip size was assessed by thickness (Domtar classifier) and width/length (Williams classifier). The results showed that the chip size was significantly affected by the CW and temperature, and in a lesser degree by the chip MC. The weighted mean chip thickness (WCT) increased with the CW. As temperature decreased below 0 °C, WCT and accepts decreased, while proportions of fines and pin chips increased. Chips obtained from green logs were thinner compared to air-dried logs when processed at the coldest temperature (minus 20 °C). The number and size of knots had an important impact on chip size, particularly on WCT. Multiple regressions were developed to predict WCT. Results showed the potential benefits of measuring log temperature and knot features to reduce chip thickness variation during fragmentation and thus improving chip size uniformity.

Keywords


Temperature; Moisture content; Cutting width; Chip size; Chipper-canter; Black spruce

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