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Leggate, W., Kumar, C., McGavin, R. L., Faircloth, A., and Knackstedt, M. (2021). "The effects of drying method on the wood permeability, wettability, treatability, and gluability of southern pine from Australia," BioResources 16(1), 698-720.


Drying has a major impact on the viability of sawn timber production, particularly through its influence on productivity, energy usage, and product quality. Traditionally, plantation-grown southern pine structural grade timber from Australia has been dried using high temperature (≥ 180 °C) conventional batch kilns. However, the Australian industry is showing increasing interest in continuous drying kilns because of reported cost savings and potential improvements in product quality. This study investigated the differences between continuous drying and conventional drying schedules on the radial permeability, wettability, gluability, and treatability of southern pine timber from Queensland plantations. The high temperature drying resulted in significantly lower liquid permeability compared to low temperature drying; however, there were no significant differences between drying schedules for gas permeability. For combined wood surface and core data, there were no significant differences in liquid permeability between low temperature drying and continuous drying or between continuous drying and high temperature drying schedules. For earlywood after surface machining, continuous drying resulted in the greatest wettability (based on K-values), whereas for latewood after surface machining, low temperature drying produced the greatest wettability. Earlywood had greater wettability compared to latewood. Continuous drying resulted in better gluability and treatability compared to conventional drying schedules.

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