Wood Science and Technology

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 141–148 | Cite as

H-NMR studies of water interactions in sitka spruce and western hemlock: moisture content determination and second moments

  • Ian D. Hartley
  • Stavros Avramidis
  • Alex L. MacKay


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the moisture level on the cell-wall material in wood using pulsed proton nuclear magnetic resonance. The wood species used were western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) and sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.), distinguishing between heartwood and sapwood regions. The moisture contents of the specimens were below the fibre saturation point and they were conditioned to equilibrium moisture contents based on initial desorption, adsorption and secondary desorption processes. From the FID experiments, the NMR-based moisture contents and the solid-wood lineshape second moments were determined. Average relative proton-spin densities, which were needed to calculate the NMR-based moisture contents, were determined from known moisture contents and they were: hemlock sapwood: 0.616; hemlock heartwood: 0.537; spruce sapwood: 0.679; and, spruce heartwood: 0.446. The average RSD value, considering both heartwood and sapwood, for western hemlock species was 0.577 and for sitka spruce was 0.563; these are close to published RSD values for other species. The condition as to how the equilibrium moisture content was attained did not influence the second moment for hemlock; however, for spruce sapwood, the second moments were sorption dependent. The hemlock M2 decreased from about 5.1 × 109 s-2 at low MNMR to 4.5 × 109 s-2 (heartwood) and 4.3 × 109 s-2 (sapwood) at higher mnmr. The adsorption and secondary desorption M2 for the spruce sapwood region decreased from about 5.0 × 109 s-2 at low mnmr to about 4.1 × 109 s-2 near the MF, whereas M2 for the spruce heartwood decreased from about 4.3 × 109 s-2 at low MNMR to about 3.5 × 109 s-2 near MF. Extractives may have a key role in obtaining the RSD and second moments.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Wood Species Desorption Process Equilibrium Moisture Content Content Determination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abragam, A. 1961: Principles of nuclear magnetism. Clarendon Press. Oxford, 599pGoogle Scholar
  2. Araujo, C. D.; MacKay, A. L.; Whittall, K. P.; Hailey, J. R. T. 1993: A diffusion model for spin-spin relaxation of compartmentalized water in wood. Journal of Magnetic Resonance, Series B, 101: 248–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Araujo, C. D.; Avramidi, S.; MacKay, A. L. 1994: Behaviour of solid wood and bound water as a function of moisture: a proton magnetic resonance study. Holzforschung 48(1): 69–74Google Scholar
  4. Hartley, I. D. 1994: Characterization of water in wood below the fibre saturation point. Ph.D. thesis. The University of British Columbia. 163ppGoogle Scholar
  5. Hartley, I. D.; Kamke, F. A.; Peemoeller, H. 1994: Absolute moisture content determination of aspen wood below the fiber saturation point using pulsed NMR. Holzforschung 48(6): 474–479Google Scholar
  6. Hartley, I. D.; Kamke, F. A.; Peemoeller, H. 1992: Cluster theory of water sorption in wood. Wood Science and Technology 26(2): 83–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hsi, E.; Hossfeld, R.; Bryant, R. G. 1977: Nuclear magnetic resonance study of water absorbed on milled Northern white-cedar. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 62(3): 389–395CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. MacKay, A. L.; Tepfer, M.; Taylor, I. E. P.; Volke, F. 1985: Proton nuclear magnetic resonance moment and relaxation study of cellulose morphology. Macromolecules. 18: 1124–1129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mantanis, G. J.; Young, R. A.; Rowell, R. M. 1994: Swelling of wood. Part 1. Swelling in water. Wood Science and Technology 28(2): 119–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Riggin, M. T.; Sharp, A. R.; Kaiser, R.; Schneider, M. H. 1979: Transverse NMR relaxation of water in wood. Journal of Applied Polymer Science 23: 3147–3154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Skaar, C. 1988: Wood water relations. Berlin: Springer-Verlag. 283ppGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian D. Hartley
    • 1
  • Stavros Avramidis
    • 2
  • Alex L. MacKay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Wood ScienceThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations