Product adapted wood drying: Improved moisture measurement and reliable product quality
|Luleå tekniska universitet - LTU Skellefteå
|Funding from Vinnova
|SEK 3 030 000
|February 2009 - December 2011
Purpose and goal
The aim is to generate knowledge, develop methods and technologies that result in custom production processes which enable defined product quality in delivered wood of pine and spruce, to a significantly higher degree than can be promised today. A step in that direction is suggested here by focusing on improved accurate moisture content measurements within a kiln load as well as within individual wood components during and after the drying process. The goal is to bring the drying process into line with the wood properties so that raised quality demands concerning moisture content in specific end products are secured.
Results and expected effects
Secured dimensional accuracy will give rise to an increased use of wood products. Wood has great potential to achieve a special status among engineering materials and could be a first choice in future materials in buildings, structures, furnishings, etc. Increased automation requires higher demands on measurement accuracy during processing steps. Correct measured moisture content increase the wood quality and the wood industry shortage costs decrease significantly. Specific project results is 1) a developed physical model showing the interaction between wood, water, heat, electrical and electromagnetic fields, 2) an assessment of best available and potential technologies for moisture content measurement and 3) methodology and equipment for the measurement of the average moisture content in batches as well as in individual wood components with an accuracy of + / - 1% moisture content within 90% confidence interval of dry wood.
Approach and implementation
The project is implemented in close cooperation with the participating industrial companies. Activities will be conducted at the University, SP Trätek, the kiln suppliers and at sawmills. Analyses, method and model development takes place mainly at the University and SP Trätek while some modeling and prototype development will be done by the drying suppliers. Data collection and industrial testing take place at the sawmills. The project includes two parts; development of moisture meters for measuring moisture content on batch level and on component level.