The creation of wooden artifacts and the use of wooden planks in general requires elements deprived of that initial humidity that freshly cut trunks have. This allows to improve their conservation in healthier environments. Thanks to the heat treatment it is possible to ensure a lasting and permanent effect on the thermal properties of the wood, with a natural process that does not use chemical substances.
The process takes place inside special cells in which the boards are inserted to undergo a treatment at high temperatures, using only heat and water vapour. The heat-treated material allows for considerably higher values in terms of durability and stability.
With the thermal degradation of hemicellulose several physical and chemical properties are permanently changed.
How does the thermo treatment of wood take place?
The process takes place in three stages:
- Temperature increase and drying at high temperatures, where heat and water vapor cause an increase in temperature inside the cells, bringing the thermometer to +100 degrees. Immediately afterwards the temperature increases steadily up to 130°C and the humidity level contained in the wood drops almost to zero
- Heat treatment, the temperature inside the cells reaches 190/212°C and is kept constant for 2/3 hours. For wood intended for internal use, a temperature of 190°C is sufficient, while the heat treatment at 212°C is chosen in the case of use for outdoor environments
- Cooling and humidity recovery, the final step which allows the temperature to be lowered with a smart system without water iniection, bringing it back to 80/90°C and for some wood kind, the moisture content is restored by a steaming system on the wooden board to allow processing ( 8/10%)
Thermo treatment of wood, what are the advantages?
Thanks to this process in a controlled atmosphere there is a considerable reduction of swelling and shrinkage caused by humidity. This makes the thermo-treated wood very stable and durable over time.
The wood, treated in this way, becomes more compact and stable, less hygroscopic and permeable and takes on a uniform darker, amber tone. It has greater durability to bad weather and can also be used for outdoor use or for making furniture for the more humid rooms of the house, such as bathroom and kitchen furnishings. Exposure to high temperatures also improves their resistance to attacks by xylophagous organisms: their nourishment, i.e. the sugars contained in the hemicelluloses, are in fact eliminated with high temperatures.
The wood thus obtained is lighter, free of resins and endowed with great insulating power.
WDE Maspell has always been synonymous with quality wood treatment. The machinery produced by the company based in Terni represents the top for companies and professionals dedicated to woodworking. Quality, competence and a long history behind it are the characteristics of a company that has been designing and manufacturing wood treatment machinery for over sixty years.