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Influence of felling season, drying method and within-tree location on the brinell hardness and equilibrium moisture content of wood from 27-35-year-old Betula pendula

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The Brinell hardness and equilibrium moisture content (EMC) were measured from thinning-aged silver birch wood. Wood material both from the trees harvested in the first commercial thinning and from trees remaining on site after the thinning was included. The average Brinell hardness was 19.40 MPa. It correlated significantly with the basic density of wood. With respect to the distance from the pith, the Brinell hardness of air-dried wood was higher than that of artificially dried wood. The average EMC of the conditioned (20°C, 65% relative humidity) wood was 12.0%. The EMC of the wood also varied, with the EMC being higher for air-dried wood than for kiln-dried wood. EMC was the highest at a distance of 30-40 mm from the pith, decreasing towards both pith and log surface. Seasonal variation in both the Brinell hardness and the EMC of the wood was found. It was presumed to be a consequence of season-dependent physiological changes in trees.

Keywords: Basic density; Betula pendula; Brinell hardness; EMC; equilibrium moisture content; felling season; silver birch; wood drying

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02827580410029327

Affiliations: Joensuu Research Centre Finnish Forest Research Institute Joensuu Finland

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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