Colour Response in Drying of Nordic Hardwoods

University dissertation from Växjö : Linnaeus University Press

Abstract: Colour and appearance of hardwood are of great importance for the interiorand furniture industry. The widespread use of transparent surface treatmentand a fashion that prescribe light colour on many species, means that deviationfrom the ideal have considerable impact on the industrial operations. Kilndrying is generally regarded as the process that has the greatest impact on thecolour of Nordic hardwood species. The lack of satisfactory explanation modelsfor many types of discoloration, however, complicates the control of the dryingprocess.This thesis is an attempt to increase the knowledge of which factors thatcontrol the appearance of some commonly found discolorations associated withdrying of beech, birch and oak. The main focus is on convection drying but alsothe influence of timber storage, pre-steaming and press drying has beeninvestigated for individual species. The studies have been conducted ascomparative studies based on design of experiments in which the colour wasdetermined using a colorimeter.Results show that reddish and dark discoloration of beech and birch duringconvective drying is mainly dependent on the temperature and time of exposurewhen the local moisture content exceeds the fibre saturation point. Theconversion of naturally occurring substances in birch into coloured compoundsis not due to active precursors created at high moisture content levels duringthe subsequent drying at low moisture content levels. Interior grey stain inbeech is caused by slow initial drying at low temperatures. Log storage in coldwinter and spring climate does not cause discoloration in beech. Birch becomeslighter when press-dried at high temperatures, resulting in a colour comparableto that of traditionally kiln dried wood. Steaming of oak before kiln dryingreduce the presence of brown discoloration, a general darkening of the woodoccurs at temperatures above 50°C.