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30-01-2020 | Original | Issue 2/2020 Open Access

European Journal of Wood and Wood Products 2/2020

Effect of supercritical CO2 treatment and kiln drying on collapse in Eucalyptus nitens wood

European Journal of Wood and Wood Products > Issue 2/2020
Bernard S. W. Dawson, Hamish Pearson, Mark O. Kimberley, Bruce Davy, Alan R. Dickson
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Collapse-prone timbers such as species of Eucalyptus are poorly utilised due to low conversion rates that necessitate long pre-drying times. A supercritical CO2 lumen water expulsion pre-treatment prior to kiln drying is proposed to bypass lengthy pre-drying. After drying (air, kiln or oven drying), shrinkage, collapse, washboard depression and checking of Eucalyptus nitens were determined using image analysis of 0.8 mm thick wafers and 5 mm thick biscuits. Lumen water expulsion-kiln drying reduced collapse by 75% and washboard depression by 71%, compared to drying from green. As water is removed from the water conductive tissue (vessels, rays, and fibre-tracheids) by lumen water expulsion, the water column is broken throughout the specimen, thereby disrupting the development of meniscus-induced water tension as subsequent drying occurs. Remaining water is proposed to reside in the non-water-conductive fibre tissue. If the process can be applied on large scale to Eucalyptus nitens, there is the opportunity for higher conversion rates to increase the commercial viability of solid wood products.

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