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Cao, Y., Jiang, J., Lu, J., Huang, R., Jiang, J., and Wu, Y. (2012). "Color change of Chinese fir through steam-heat treatment," BioRes. 7(3), 2809-2819.

Abstract

Dark brown wood color is a current trend and widely appreciated by consumers in the furniture and decoration markets. Heat treatment is one of the most effective methods to darken wood’s appearance. The influence of steam-heat treatment on color change of Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook.) was investigated within the temperature range from 170 to 230 °C and time from 1 to 5 hours in an air-tight chamber within an atmosphere comprising less than 2 percent oxygen. Saturated steam was used as a heating medium and a shielding gas. The results showed that the chroma difference (△C*) decreased gradually, while the color difference (△E*) and hue difference (△H*) increased with an increase in temperature and length of time. An analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a multi-comparison analysis revealed that the treatment temperature plays a more important role in darkening wood color during the process of steam-heat treatment in comparison with the treatment time. The results suggest that a more desirable wood color can be achieved with the technology of steam-heat treatment.
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