Main content area

Quality assessment of the drying process for Eucalyptus delegatensis timber using greenhouse solar drying technology

Phonetip, Khamtan, Ozarska, Barbara, Harris, Gerry, Belleville, Benoit, Brodie, Graham Ian
European journal of wood and wood products 2019 v.77 no.1 pp. 57-62
Eucalyptus delegatensis, analysis of variance, compression strength, greenhouses, relative humidity, solar drying, temperature, tensile strength, water content, wood quality, New Zealand
The aim of this study was to investigate the process of drying Eucalyptus delegatensis in a greenhouse solar kiln. Specific objectives were to assess stress formation, moisture gradients and timber distortion, the moisture content distribution within various sections of the timber stack, and internal checking and collapse development within the boards. The maximal temperature and relative humidity (RH) in the daytime were set at 43 °C/72% RH. At night time, the temperature was at ambient condition with 90% RH. The strain measurements were undertaken before and after the samples were sliced. The timber quality at the end of drying was assessed based on Australian and New Zealand standard (AS/NZS 4787:2001). The moisture content values in the three different sections (front, middle and end) of 2400 mm long boards were compared by Analysis of Variance. The results showed that the mean compressive strain was − 2 × 10⁻ ⁴ mm/mm in the core layers and the tensile strain was 14 × 10⁻ ⁴ mm/mm in the outer layers. All sample boards were within the acceptable limits for cupping, spring and bow, even though the relative humidity level did not reach the set value. However, the amount of twist in three out of twelve sample boards was above the acceptable limit. Mean moisture gradient was 0.6%. There was a significant difference in moisture content at the end section compared to the front and middle sections. Internal checking, collapse and residual stress were graded as Class “C” (class A is the highest grade and D is the lowest).