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Thermally modified wood - seasoning wood in high temperature

Updated on September 27, 2012
heat treated wood
heat treated wood | Source

wood properties

Being a hygroscopic material, wood has some disadvantages. It tries to gain some moisture , in high humidity level. This may lead to swelling in the timber. Besides when it is subject to heat or hot sun may give out moisture , resulting shrinkage. These type of undesirable properties of wood give twist , warp or bowing in final products.

Some of those properties of timber can be overcome by artificial moisture removal method. This is called kiln seasoning. In order to maintain mechanical properties and natural color of wood , the conventional type of kiln used to use lower temperature to bring down the moisture.Depends on temperature source and initial moisture content of wood , the time taken to bring down the moisture content of the wood may vary.

Accelerating the seasoning

Nowadays with different technologies, we shall accelerate the seasoning of wood ,either by increasing the temperature or by increasing air circulation, or by creating vacuum to remove out the moisture. This type of accelerating seasoning in wood , may interfere in original color and to some extent cracks may develop. Some of the hardwood species can't be subject to this kind of seasoning. Hard wood species may give more cracks , and make it unusable.Even then controlled accelerated wood seasoning assists in drying faster and to cut down the cost of drying as well.

Thermal modification

To overcome the water absorption in wood after seasoning , especially after seasoning , we can use thermally modified wood. It is nothing but, increasing the temperature while seasoning to 1900 celcius to 230 0 celcius in a controlled way. This type of seasoning may impair some of the mechanical properties of wood. But can be used in decking , flooring and for interior purposes. Secondly the color of wood darker the normal. So original color of the wood can't be retained. But the main problems in the wood like water absorption in humid areas can be over come. At the same time it can' t get deteriorated by biological means. So you can avoid using toxic chemicals , which can give prolonged effect.

The wood is preserved and longer life ensured by this type of thermal modification. Seasoning chamber are made using stainless steel and having controlled application of temperature. Either already seasoned wood or green wood can be made thermally modified wood. Even the pallets used for exports , which doesn't need toxic chemicals treatment , can be under thermal modification. And it is regarded as environmental friendly and user friendly.

Thermally modified wood can be used in all types moldings. Can be painted or varnished, thus eliminating the worry about paintability.

wooden houses and thermally modified wood

Using Thermally modified wood in house building has any health issues?

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    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 6 years ago

      Thank u Peggy W for stopping by and commenting on this hub. Thermally modified wood is available all over the world. It started with Germany, now available at East Asia, America, Other parts of Europe.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks for this informative hub. I had never heard of thermally modified wood but it makes sense. I wonder if all parts of the world are using this technology? Most of the wood I see being used in construction over here in Houston seems to be green. Perhaps I just do not know what I am looking at. Some seems to be pink in color. I assumed that was just treated in some way. Voted up and useful.

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 6 years ago

      Thank u Reynold Jay for stopping by and commenting on this hub. Hope this hub enlightening something about the thermally modified wood.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I was a wood shop techer for a decade and can tell you understand this. I found I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm always your fan! RJ

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