Barefoot-heat-impact of oil-heat-treated wood: An important thermal property of decking boards

IRG/WP 09-40458

A O Rapp, C R Welzbacher, C Brischke

In this study the phenomenon of sensual heat impression was examined, when walking with bare feet on sun exposed wood based decking boards. A suitable method for measuring the heat flux from decking boards into an artificial foot was developed. The method and measuring device is described as well as results from measuring three different decking board materials: Oil-heat-treated spruce (OHT), untreated Bangkirai, and solid Wood Polymer Compound (WPC). The spruce OHT decking boards showed the lowest surface temperature after exposure to light (OHT 67°C, Bangkirai 76°C, WPC 85°C) and also caused the lowest temperature in the artificial foot (OHT 39.8 °C; Bangkirai 47.5 °C; WPC 52.3 °C). The measured heat flow density of the OHT decking boards was the lowest; the heat flow density of Bangkirai was three times and of WPC four times higher. The data obtained mirrored well the subjective sensation when walking on the three different materials with bare feet. After exposure to artificial solar radiation the OHT-spruce decking caused a feeling, which can be described as “conveniently warm”, whereas Bangkirai and in particular the solid WPC caused pain to the bare skin.

Keywords: barefoot-heat-impact, decking, heat flow density, heat flux, heat capacity, heat conductance, Oil-Heat-Treatment (OHT), Thermally Modified Timber (TMT), wood temperature

Conference: 09-05-24/28 Beijing, China

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