AbstractThis article reports the results of temperature measurements carried out on 50-mm-thick Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst) wood samples exposed to infrared (IR) radiation. The varied property with respect to the optimization of the drying technology was the initial moisture content of samples. During the experiments, temperature profiles were registered on the surface and in the core of the samples under controlled technological conditions. Based on our osmotic approach, the variability in the curves was interpreted with respect to the stagnation temperature below the fiber saturation point (FSP). We conclude that the amount of liquid water necessary for osmosis must still be available locally in the core. With decreasing initial average moisture content, the time interval of the osmotic process also decreases. In this context our results support the hypothesis that the presence of free water in the wood tissue is necessary for the osmotic mechanism even if the average moisture content falls below the FSP.