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Vacuum contact drying kinetics of Jack pine wood and its influence on mechanical properties: industrial applications


Wood can be dried rapidly using combined contact heating and low vacuum. However, the impact on Jack pine wood drying and its mechanical strength remains unclear. The aim of this paper was to determine the kinetics of vacuum contact drying of Jack pine (Pinus banksiana) wood boards (dimensions 50 × 100 × 2480 mm3) under various drying temperatures and vacuum pressures at a pilot scale. Drying temperatures and vacuum pressures ranged from 65 to 95 °C and from 169.32 to 507.96 mbar, respectively. Dried samples were subjected to flexural loading to determine mechanical strength. Results indicated that drying time decreased with higher drying temperature and vacuum pressure, where as decreased vacuum pressure increased the temperature of wood samples at a constant drying temperature. Results also indicated that the mechanical properties of dried samples were affected by drying temperature, vacuum pressure, and lumber grade. Mechanical test results were then compared to those for a conventional drying process, revealing that vacuum contact drying do not have a negative impact on the wood mechanical properties.

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Dry matter


Drying schedule


Modulus of elasticity (MPa)


Modulus of rupture (MPa)


Maximal strength (MPa)


Humidity of wood (%)


Mass (kg)


Temperature (°C)


Moisture content (kg water/kg dry matter)


Samples number


Relative humidity (%)


Standard deviation



\(\Delta {\text{t}}\) :

Time interval




Dimension less








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Our thanks go to Gilles Villeneuve from the University of Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Abderrazak Zaaraoui from the University of Tunis El Manar for their technical assistance and help in carrying out the experiments. The first author acknowledges receiving financial support from the Tunisian Government and the Canada Research Chair for Wood Assessment, Development and Processing.

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Correspondence to Sahbi Ouertani.

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Ouertani, S., Koubaa, A., Azzouz, S. et al. Vacuum contact drying kinetics of Jack pine wood and its influence on mechanical properties: industrial applications. Heat Mass Transfer 51, 1029–1039 (2015).

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  • Wood Sample
  • Wood Species
  • Initial Moisture Content
  • Vacuum Pressure
  • Wood Board