Heat treatment of less-valuable Nigerian-grown Ceiba pentandra wood for improved properties
The hardwood Ceiba pentandra locally known as “ araba “ in Nigeria is rarely used for structural and construction works due to its high dimensional instability, low strength and durability values. Samples (10 x 10 x 150mm) were removed from four green boards (25 x 200 x 3000mm) of this species originating from a natural forest stand in Nigeria and subjected to 2-hour heat treatment at 160°C and 220°C.
Heat treatment reduced swelling, hygroscopicity and swelling intensity of Ceiba pentandra wood with the reductions being generally higher in the 220°C treatment than the 160°C treatment. The reductions constitute improvements in these properties. These improvement in properties have the potential to increase the market value of this species through wider acceptability for various purposes hitherto considered impossible. This however is subject to further investigations on the effects on durability and strength properties which are other key features in the choice of wood for various purposes.