Estimating the heat treatment intensity through various properties of thermally modified timber (TMT)
C R Welzbacher, C Brischke, A O Rapp
The suitability of different measures for prediction of the heat treatment intensity was investigated. Therefore, the resistance to impact milling (RIM), the lightness L*, the equilibrium moisture content (EMC), the anti swelling efficiency (ASE) and the total amount of soluble carbohydrates (TSC) of heat treated specimens were correlated with corresponding fungal resistance achieved by heat treatments. Heat treatment temperatures of 180°C, 200°C, 210°C, 220°C, and 240°C for various heat treatment durations from 0.25 to 72 h were applied. The results show, that the decrease in mass (dm) by heat treatments is a suitable measurand to describe the treatment intensity, which is a product out of treatment temperature and duration, where the impact of temperature is predominating the impact of time. The properties examined showed a strong reciprocally proportional relationship with the decrease in mass. Thus different correlations were found for the various treatment temperatures: The higher the temperature applied, the lower was the decrease in mass required for an equivalent improvement of certain wood properties, e.g. biological durability, EMC, and dimensional stability. However, mass loss by Poria placenta correlated well with the resistance to impact milling (RIM), lightness L*, EMC, ASE and TSC of the different heat treated specimens, depending on the heat treatment temperature. Consequently, a reliable estimation of improved fungal resistance of TMT, as well as the quality control of TMT in general, strongly requires certain process information.
Keywords: ASE, CIE L*a*b* color measurements, decrease in mass, equilibrium moisture content, heat treatment intensity, high-energy multiple impact (HEMI) test, soluble carbohydrates, quality control