NC State
Cai, J., and Cai, L. (2012). "Effects of thermal modification on mechanical and swelling properties and color change of lumber killed by mountain pine beetle," BioRes. 7(3), 3488-3499.


To extend the application of mountain pine beetle (MPB) killed lumber for decking, siding, and landscaping materials, it is essential to improve its dimensional stability. Thermal treatment is one of the well-established processes used to improve wood stability by modifying chemical compounds and masking blue-stains by darkening the fibre color. In this study, the MPB lumber was subjected to thermal treatment at three temperatures (195, 205, or 215°C) and three exposure times (1.5, 2, or 3 h). Based on Duncan's multiple range test, the results indicated that the volumetric swelling after thermal treatment, either from oven-dry to air-conditioned or from oven-dry to water-saturated, was significantly reduced after thermal treatment. Modulus of elasticity was increased when specimens were treated at a temperature of 195°C, and then decreased as the temperature increased. Modulus of rupture was significantly reduced as treatment temperature increased. The hardness of lumber thermal-treated at 195°C was significantly increased compared to that of the untreated lumber. At higher temperatures, hardness started to decrease slightly. With the treatment temperature increasing to 215°C for 3 h, the color difference between stained and clear wood was reduced by 75%. As a result, the blue-stains vanished gradually.
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