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Cabezas-Romero, J. L., Salvo-Sepúlveda, L., Contreras-Moraga, H., Perez-Pena, N., Sepúlveda-Villarroel, V., Wentzel, M., and Ananías, R. A. (2021). "Microstructure of thermally modified radiata pine wood," BioResources 16(1), 1523-1533.

Abstract

The thermal modification of wood is a potential alternative method for improving wood dimensional stability and increasing the resistance of wood to decay. However, during thermal modification, morphological changes occur within the microstructure of the cell, and these confer different properties to the wood. This study investigated the effects of the thermal modification process on the microstructure of radiata pine juvenile wood. Therefore, anatomical measurements were performed via optical microscopy in selected earlywood and latewood samples after each treatment, and the results were compared to untreated wood samples. In this study, two temperatures (190 °C and 210 °C) were considered for the thermal modification process. The results showed that the level of temperature of modification affected to microstructure of cell wall. The cell wall thickness decreased as treatment temperature increased, whereas the average lumen diameter increased slightly as temperature increased. Thermally modified radiata pine showed signs of damage (cracks, broken cells and deformations in the wood cell wall). The proportion of destroyed area increased as temperature increased, and significant differences were evident for the thermal treatment at 210 °C.


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