Effects of high temperature kiln drying on the practical performances of Japanese cedar wood (Cryptomeria japonica) II: Changes in mechanical properties due to heating
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Japanese cedar wood specimens were steamed at 80°, 100°, and 120°C over 14 days, and their equilibrium moisture content (M) at 20°C and 60% relative humidity, longitudinal dynamic Young’s modulus (E), bending strength (σmax), and breaking strain (εmax) were compared with those of unheated specimens. Steaming for a longer duration at a higher temperature resulted in a greater reduction in M, σmax, and εmax. The E of wood was slightly enhanced by steaming at 100°C for 1–4 days and 120°C for 1–2 days, and thereafter it decreased. The slight increase in the E of sapwood was attributable to the reduction in hygroscopicity, while sufficient explanation was not given for a greater increase in the heartwood stiffness. Irrespective of the steaming temperature, the correlations between M and the mechanical properties of steamed wood were expressed in terms of simple curves. M values above 8% indicated a slight reduction in E and s max, whereas M values below 8% indicated a marked decrease in the mechanical performances. In addition, the e max decreased almost linearly with a decrease in the value of M. These results suggest that hygroscopicity measurement enables the evaluation of degradation in the mechanical performances of wood caused by steaming at high temperatures.
Key wordsKiln drying Steaming Japanese cedar Thermal degradation Hygroscopicity
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