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07.06.2018 | Original | Ausgabe 4/2018 Open Access

European Journal of Wood and Wood Products 4/2018

Swelling restraint of thermally modified ash wood perpendicular to the grain

European Journal of Wood and Wood Products > Ausgabe 4/2018
Jerzy Majka, Edward Roszyk
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The paper reports on creep of ash wood (Fraxinus excelsior L.) thermally modified at 180 and 200 °C, and subsequently subjected to compression in tangential and radial directions and simultaneously wetted, from the moisture content (MC) of 6% to above the fibre saturation point (FSP). The compressing load made 0.00, 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 of impact stress at the proportional limit (Rc). The compression stress needed to restrain the swelling of wood, the so-called swelling pressure, was indirectly determined from isochrones of mechano-sorptive creep. The most important finding was that thermal modification reduces the strain of ash wood subjected to compression perpendicular to the grain to a degree proportional to the mass loss. The compression stress needed to restrain the swelling of thermally modified wood is ca. 10 and 20% smaller in the tangential and radial directions, respectively. This effect leads to a reduction in the anisotropy of swelling pressure of thermally modified wood perpendicular to the grain. Moreover, although upon thermal modification the mass loss of wood takes place, at the MC of 6% it shows practically the same modulus of elasticity (MOE) and Rc as the unmodified wood. After wetting to MC higher than the FSP, the thermally modified wood at 200 °C shows significantly higher MOE and Rc than the wood modified at 180 °C and untreated wood. Reduction of wood hygroscopicity, an inevitable effect of thermal modification, also reduces the range of changes in mechanical properties of wood caused by the increase in its MC to the FSP.

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