AbstractThe drying process of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst) wood exposed to infrared heat radiation was studied by measuring the moisture profiles of the wood samples at controlled temperature during drying. The thermal treatment was executed in a purpose-made industrial pilot-plant containing the heat radiators covered by infrared (IR) transmition filters. The moisture content of the samples was detected at certain stages of the process. Based on the results of exposing the samples to IR radiation for 15, 25, 35, and 45 hours, the drying mechanism of wood is discussed. The moisture transport mechanism was explained by a semipermeable membrane process considering the moisture content as a dilute aqueous solution. If the semipermeable cell wall allows only the passage of water but not that of solute molecules, water diffusing from the region of higher (center) to lower (periphery) water content produces osmotic pressure difference between the two sides of the cell walls. The importance of this osmosis was considered in the approach of moisture migration.